Measuring Safety and Safety Results

Measuring Safety

The Engine Room would suggest that safety performance progress and success be measured a few different ways. Ultimately, safety performance success should be evaluated by considering changes in bottom line safety and business metrics such as incident and near miss reports, injury frequency and severity rates, OSHA recordables and lost work days, all common lagging indicators of safety performance.

However, given the time required to confirm if safety and operational performance is changing, we suggest that a few leading indicators of safety progress be used to measure and report on progress with management and the executive.

Safety Activity Quality Audits are continuous improvement tools used to improve the quality of safety activities executed by leaders, both in and out of the field. The audit process considers all aspects of a specific safety activity and rates the activity from 1 to 5 by answering targeted questions and documenting key observations. The auditor is meant to be a fly on the wall, and not change the dynamic of the safety activity, but provide timely and thoughtful feedback.

Safety Leadership Coaching Matrix is a proprietary and customizable tool which considers the safety behaviours and practices required from managers and supervisors to create a safe work environment. The Safety Matrix is a valuable reporting tool during the course of the implementation phase of an Engine Room Safety Project to discuss safety leadership development progress and strategies. The Safety Leadership Coaching Matrix is a copyrighted measurement tool that is designed after the completion of an Operational Safety Diagnostic in conjunction with the client organizations safety goals and strategy. Every matrix is designed to be unique to each organization we are working with.

A Safety Due Diligence Report is a practice of inviting a respected party within an organization to generate a Safety Due Diligence report suitable for submission to the executive. A due diligence report is generated quarterly or semi-annually after an Engine Room project has been completed. This safety report evaluates the efficacy of error reduction, safety leadership and safety processes by evaluating the ‘quality and rigor’ around safety activities in the field. The principle would be similar to what an internal audit team might do to provide an executive team confidence about a company’s financial controls. Producing a Safety Due Diligence Report involves:

  • Combining hard data and informed opinion about the quality of safety activities to provide a balanced view of safety practices and performance.
  • Focusing on whether safety activities are being done at the right time and with sufficient quality to prevent incidents.
  • Providing a vehicle to communicate perspectives from employees obtained as part of the safety process audits.

An early project deliverable would be to fine tune safety activity quality audits, leadership development matrices and due diligence question sets with the client organization and create samples of all leading safety performance indicators for consideration by the client organization.

Safety Results

The Engine Room is at the forefront of Heavy Industry Safety Evaluations and Safety Performance Improvement Initiatives having conducted more than 10 large-scale initiatives in the last two years alone. During this period, The Engine Room safety evaluation team of safety and heavy industry operational performance professionals have been engaged to diagnose safety performance, and support safety performance improvement initiatives in a wide range of situations.

  • An Operational Safety Diagnostic with an electrical distribution company which led the Executive team to fundamentally change their approach to safety performance management from a safety department centric approach, to Operations line ownership for safety. The shift in safety philosophy was then supported by the Engine Room with a targeted coaching program designed to strengthen front-line safety leadership skills. The result of both the diagnostic and the following coaching program has been a dramatic shift in supervision and management’s approach to leading for safety performance.
  • Operational Safety Diagnostic with a mining operation which highlighted a disconnect at leadership levels between their approach to discipline and their stated view of creating a ‘no blame culture’ in which employees would feel free to raise ‘near misses’ with management. In effect, the diagnostic enabled management to self-reflect on their own contribution to the safety performance challenges that had been plaguing the company for many years.
  • An Operational Safety Diagnostic with a gas distribution company which the Executive was able to use as a roadmap for their safety improvement initiatives, the result of which is that the company moved from being at the bottom of their peer group in safety performance to the top performer.
  • An Operational Safety Diagnostic followed by training and coaching with Operations leadership targeting safety practices aligned with principles of error reduction which led to substantial changes in supervisory behaviours, improved employee engagement and organizational safety performance improvement.
  • Virtually all safety diagnostics highlight the root causes of specific gaps in performance of safety process commonly being used in the utility, mining and heavy industry sectors. Examples include: Field Level Risk Assessment/Tailgates, Safety audits/inspections, Safety Meetings, Safety incentive programs, Near Miss tracking programs, Corrective action programs. In each case, the diagnostic was able to identify the symptoms, the root cause and identify specific strategies to improve the performance of the safety processes without significant capital expense.

The Engine Room’s innovative and state of the art evaluation approach is predicated on achieving safety performance improvement results through applying the principles of:

  • Deploying utility experienced safety and operational excellence professionals
  • Achieving the highest quality and most candid employee feedback
  • Creating as little disruption and burden to ongoing operations as possible
  • Meeting all milestones, timelines and key dates as agreed upon with the client
  • Providing the true root causes behind safety improvement opportunities
  • Providing specific mitigation strategies and recommendations that are actionable

At The Engine Room, we pride ourselves on supporting organizations in designing an aligned and focused leadership team and creating a culture of accountability. We accelerate the implementation of internal programs in a manner that is digestible, understood, owned and executed by local management.

While speaking with industry references will provide the most unbiased and candid feedback on our firm’s capabilities and results, The Engine Room is proud of the safety evaluation and implementation support we have had the opportunity to provide to our clients. From reducing their lost time incidents by 80%, to arming frontline leadership teams with the specific safety leadership tools that make a difference, to converting strategic aspirations into actionable plans.

Our clients own these successful results and we are pleased to be able to support them in their safety journey. As in all operational performance evaluations a safety performance improvement initiative has the net eff ect of also improving standard operational metrics. Common key performance indicators Engine Room initiatives have influenced include:

  • Increases in Labour Utilization
  • Reduced use of Contractors
  • Increased Work Throughput
  • Increased In-Service Date Compliance ISD
  • Increased Emergent Trouble Response times
  • Cultural Challenges Resolved