Understanding the underlying influences on organizational safety performance is imperative, yet rarely done. A weak safety culture can undermine efforts to implement safety-relevant policies and procedures, and influence whether and how leadership and employees engage in safe work behavior.
The traditional approach of simply measuring lagging indicators or benchmarking risk management and safe work performance with incident rate reduction has proven dangerously insufficient. In short, such approaches have failed to provide strong connections between program causes and direct factors influencing risk and loss frequency. This is partly because safety outcomes, such as accidents, injuries, and near misses, only reflect a part of safety performance.
It is necessary to consider organizational and psychosocial factors – leading indicators - to gain a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of what is driving safety performance.