Simplifying Business Strategies

Safety KPIsUnlocking the Importance of Safety KPIs in the Workplace

Safety KPIs serve as the compass that guides organizations toward compliance and creating a culture where safety is ingrained in every action. In a world where businesses continuously strive for efficiency and productivity, the significance of ensuring a safe working environment cannot be overstressed. 

In this post, we’ll explore Safety KPIs, why they are indispensable for safety managers, the various types essential for monitoring, and tips for effectively tracking them.

What are Safety KPIs?

Safety Indicators are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its key business objectives related to safety. These indicators help in identifying potential hazards, assessing risk levels, and measuring the effectiveness of safety protocols and interventions to measure workplace incidents. By closely monitoring Safety metrics, organizations can make informed decisions to enhance workplace safety and reduce the incidence of accidents.

The Difference Between Health KPIs and Safety KPIs

Health and Safety KPIs, while often mentioned in tandem, focus on two categories of different aspects of workplace well-being. Health KPIs are primarily concerned with the overall physical and mental well-being of employees over time.

They measure the effectiveness of health programs, initiatives, and policies an organization implements to promote a healthy lifestyle, prevent disease, and manage health-related issues among employees.

Examples might include the rate of employee participation in health administration wellness programs, the incidence of health-related absences, or the effectiveness of occupational health interventions.

On the other hand, Safety performance indicators are directly related to the workplace environment and the immediate risks associated with job tasks. They aim to identify, measure, and manage risks to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Safety KPIs might include metrics on the frequency of workplace accidents, severity of injuries, near-miss incidents, and compliance with safety training programs and protocols. The essential difference lies in their focus: health and safety KPIs are that health indicators aim for long-term employee well-being, while safety metrics concentrate on preventing immediate harm.

Why is Safety KPI so Important?

Beyond the obvious of safeguarding employees’ well-being, Safety KPIs play a vital role in sustaining an organization’s reputation, minimizing legal liabilities, and optimizing productivity. A robust safety record can be a crucial differentiator in competitive industries, serving to attract talent and retain customer trust. Furthermore, by reducing incidences of workplace injuries and diseases, companies can significantly cut down on costs related to medical leave, compensation, and insurance premiums.

Types of Safety KPIs

To build a comprehensive safety reporting and metrics portfolio, it’s crucial to include various indicators covering different aspects of workplace safety. Here’s a run-through of some vital safety KPI examples:

Reported Incidents

This KPI tracks the number of safety incidents reported over a specific period. Regular monitoring can help identify trends and identify areas that need immediate attention.

Equipment Breakdowns

Frequent equipment failures may indicate inadequate maintenance protocols and safety standards, posing potential risks to employee safety.

Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA)

CAPA KPIs measure the effectiveness of the corrective action corrective actions being taken to eliminate the root causes of detected nonconformities or incidents.

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)

LTIFR provides insights into the frequency of work-related injuries leading to an employee’s inability to work the next day or shift.

Average Employee Overtime Hours

Excessive overtime can lead to fatigue, increasing the risk of accidents. Monitoring this KPI helps ensure employees are not overworked.

Average Resolution Time (ART)

This KPI measures the time taken to resolve reported safety incidents, reflecting the efficiency of the response to safety risks.

Health and Safety Prevention Costs

Tracking the amount spent on safety training, equipment safety policies, and practices can provide a clear picture of the organization’s commitment to safety.

Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)

TRIFR includes all work-related injuries recorded in a given period, offering a comprehensive view of the organization’s safety performance.

Employee Training

Monitoring the total hours spent on occupational safety training ensures that employees are well-equipped to handle their jobs safely.

3 Tips for Tracking Safety KPIs

  1. Utilize Digital Tools: Leverage software and digital platforms designed for KPI tracking to automate data collection and analysis, enabling real-time insights and reporting.
  2. Engage Employees: Encourage a culture where safety is everyone’s responsibility. Offer easy means for employees to report incidents and suggest improvements.
  3. Set Realistic Targets: While zero accidents may be the ultimate goal, setting achievable milestones based on your KPIs can motivate continuous improvement without discouraging staff with seemingly unattainable objectives.

Lagging Indicators in Safety Key Performance Indicators

Lagging safety indicators are critical components in the safety KPIs spectrum, primarily focusing on data and statistics that highlight the outcomes of past actions and incidents. Unlike leading indicators, which aim to predict and prevent incidents through proactive measures, these indicators provide insight into what has already occurred.

They are essential for understanding the effectiveness of safety measures and policies after they have been implemented. Examples of lagging indicators include the number of serious workplace incidents and injuries, incident rates, and days away from work due to accidents. These metrics offer a retrospective view that helps organizations evaluate their safety performance and identify trends or patterns over time.

The value of lagging safety indicators lies in their ability to quantitatively measure the impact of workplace safety initiatives, allowing for a data-driven approach to improving health and safety protocols. By analyzing these indicators, businesses can pinpoint areas of risk and direct resources toward mitigating those risks.

However, it’s important to balance the focus on those indicators with leading indicators to ensure a comprehensive safety management strategy. While leading indicators are essential for understanding past performances, incorporating proactive measures through the leading indicator indicators can prevent future incidents and foster a culture of safety and awareness within the organization.

Leading Indicators in Safety Performance

Leading indicators play a pivotal role in predictive safety management, allowing organizations to identify potential risks and implement preventive measures before accidents occur. Unlike lagging indicators, which look at past events, these indicators focus on the future, safety program performance, and proactive risk management.

Examples of leading indicators include the number of safety training completion rates, total recordable incident rate, the frequency of safety audits, employee participation in safety programs, employee feedback, and the implementation of near-miss reporting systems. These metrics are forward-looking and emphasize the active aspects of an organization’s safety culture, aiming to reduce the likelihood of incidents through early detection and intervention.

The advantage of focusing on leading indicators is the shift towards a more preventive approach to workplace and safety issues. By measuring factors that contribute to a safe working environment ahead of time, companies can influence outcomes rather than react to them.

This proactive approach not only enhances the overall safety culture within the organization but also significantly reduces the costs associated with workplace accidents, reducing costs such as medical expenses, legal fees, and increases in insurance premiums. Cultivating a robust set of indicators requires commitment and engagement at all levels of the organization, fostering an environment where safety is integrated into every operational aspect.


In essence, Safety KPIs are not just metrics to be reported; they are indicators of an organization’s health, reflecting the physical safety of its workforce and the resilience of its operations. By diligently tracking these indicators, businesses not only comply with legal obligations but also move towards fostering an even work environment where safety becomes second nature.

Ultimately, when safety is prioritized, everyone benefits – employees enjoy a healthier workplace, and businesses thrive through enhanced productivity and reputation.

To learn more about safety KPIs and other operational metrics, contact Strategy Capstone!