Behavioural safety is one of the hot topics of conversation amongst EHS professionals at the moment, and with good reason, because it can impact on everything within a health and safety context. The theory behind behaviour-based safety focuses on the actions of workers, why they do it and how it can be improved. This can impact on the success of traditional process and compliance-based safety as it can influence the degree to which individuals are compliant in the system.
Measuring the performance that results from behavioural safety can be a challenge, however, it is entirely necessary to iteratively improve a company’s application of the principles.
KPIs when measuring behavioural safety
Use participation rates with caution
Getting people on board with your behavioural safety measures is one of the key challenges when it comes to implementing a new policy. As such many EHS professionals measure it to get an image of the take up amongst employees.
Analyze the number of potential or serious injuries and fatalities
One method of measuring performance that is often used by HSE Managers is the rate of potentially serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). This tracks the number of incidents that occur within an organisation that can lead to life-altering events for workers.
Keeping this down is key for any organisation is important so a low percentage in this KPI is usually a good indicator of behavioural safety change if the figure has gone down. It must be stated that this data can be somewhat obtuse and has to be viewed in line with other metrics to get a more complete picture of performance.
Corrective action rate
This behavioural safety performance indicator looks at the number of corrective actions that have taken place. This is good for measuring to what extent behavioural safety measures have influenced the degree to which work has to be corrected to be deemed safe. If there is a fall in the number of corrective actions, this is an indication that behavioural safety measures have worked to some extent.
Use metrics with caution
Whilst the different metrics listed have been tested and can be useful when evaluating the performance of behavioural safety measures, as with many data points they can be misleading and only tell part of the story. This is why it is important to consider many different aspects of performance, be it through worker feedback and ‘lived experiences’ as part of a holistic measurement of behavioural safety.