New Campbell Institute research includes employer implementation guide for leading indicators

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San Diego — Although most employers understand the effectiveness of leading indicators – tracking workplace conditions and events to prevent injuries and illnesses before they occur – they could use assistance with implementation, said Joy Inouye, lead researcher at the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council.

Speaking during a panel discussion Monday at the NSC 2019 Congress & Expo, Inouye discussed new Campbell Institute research to that end, including a guide intended to help employers initiate the process should they be implementing leading indicators for the first time.

Using research and feedback from two Campbell Institute workgroups composed of employers with top environment, health and safety programs, the guide lists various leading indicators and formulas for introducing them to the workforce.

For the leading indicator of “communication of safety,” for example, an employer could assess the number and frequency of employee meetings and the number of pre-shift safety talks, the research states.

For “employee engagement and participation,” which Inouye called employers’ most-cited challenge, implementation strategies included gauging:

  • Attendance at safety committee meetings and safety events.
  • Frequency of on-the-job observations from employees.
  • Job turnover.

The research is the latest in the Campbell Institute’s ongoing series on leading indicators, which Inouye called a “continuous improvement process” between the institute and its members.

“We’re continuing to evolve and mature on the topic, and what we’re finding is that the more that we talk to each other about these leading indicators and metrics, the more that companies can share with each other across industries, the better we get at learning how to leverage these metrics and protect our workforces,” Inouye said.

An earlier portion of the panel discussion included remarks from NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin and Joseph Reuter, executive vice president and chief people officer at Lake Forest, IL-based Stericycle. NSC has partnered with Stericycle on a new Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit, a collection of numerous resources set to be unveiled Sept. 18 in Washington.

“The opioid crisis is something we have to get our hands around,” Martin said. “We have to help everyone.”