In February 2018, Sphera sponsored an EHS Daily Advisor survey titled “Measuring Safety Culture: Where Leadership, Culture and Metrics Intersect.” When the survey closed, 701 Environmental Health & Safety professionals shared their experiences regarding how metrics are shaping the decisions, leadership and safety culture at their organizations. The survey results exemplify how safety leaders in the business world are leveraging metrics and cultural initiatives in their important work of preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
The results show that most respondents believe that safety culture and leadership directly drives safe behaviors—yet one-quarter of those polled disagreed that EHS decisions at their companies were well-informed and well-communicated. The following are some of the key takeaways from the survey.
It is noteworthy that preferred metrics and methods for EHS decision-making tend¬ed to vary by company size. While larger companies were more likely to focus on hard data/metrics analysis and use third-party software, smaller organizations relied more heavily on feedback from employees and verbal reports.
- Four out of five (81 percent) of survey participants said that EHS decision-makers at their organizations understand the difference between leading metrics (those that are predictive in nature) vs. lagging metrics (those that report results after the fact)—but they were evenly split on whether this understanding was complete or partial.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 (89 percent) of those polled believe that their EHS programs could be improved if their companies were more diligent and efficient in the collection, analysis, and reporting of safety data and metrics.
- The majority of survey participants (53 percent) said that employees generally comply with safety rules and policies at their companies, but primarily view workplace safety as “someone else’s job.”
- It is interesting to note that employees were much more likely to take full ownership of safety at small companies polled—at the largest companies, employees viewed safety as someone else’s job: 43 percent vs. 30 percent, respectively.