Organizations are constantly looking for new preventative measures to keep their employees safe, and in the hunt for these measures they turn to safety data to guide them. This safety data may pertain to something that has happened (lagging) or data that suggests something might (leading). We refer to these as lagging and leading indicators when we try to use them for prediction and trend analysis. These indicators guide decision making in the development of safety strategies in an organization – they are essential.
Lately, leading indicators are all the talk and, in some ways, they are the holy grail of safety data. The reason for this is that leading indicators are predictive. Whereas it is easy to capture an incident (a lagging indicator) because it happened, it is very hard to capture data that might indicate something is going to happen (a leading indicator).
What is a leading/lagging indicator? Find out more by reading the EHS Analytics “The Holy Grail of Safety Data” article.