Leading indicators can play a vital role in preventing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses and strengthening other safety and health outcomes in the workplace. Leading indicators are proactive and preventive measures that can shed light about the effectiveness of safety and health activities and reveal potential problems in a safety and health program.
Many employers are familiar with lagging indicators. Lagging indicators measure the occurrence and frequency of events that occurred in the past, such as the number or rate of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. While lagging indicators can alert you to a failure in an area of your safety and health program or to the existence of a hazard, leading indicators are important because they can tell you whether your safety and health activities are effective at preventing incidents. A good safety and health program uses leading indicators to drive change and lagging indicators to measure effectiveness.