What do:

  • Safety committee participation;
  • The percentage of monthly safety inspections completed; and
  • The number of workers wearing hearing protection

All have in common?

They’re all examples of leading indicators that can be used to improve your company’s culture of safety.

Leading indicators are proactive, preventive and predictive measures you can study to see how effective your health and safety programs are working. Leading indicators should be specific to your business and studying them over time should lead to improved workplace safety.

Lagging indicators, on the other hand, measure the actual incidences of injuries and illnesses. Examples of these include the number of OSHA recordables or fatalities.


According to OSHA, “A good program uses leading indicators to drive change and lagging indicators to measure effectiveness.”

Establishing leading and lagging indicators is an opportunity to improve your company’s safety culture. They should be custom to your business, understood by employees and can be refined over time to ensure you’re moving in the right direction.

Ready to take your next steps with leading and lagging indicators? Talk to our EHS specialists or read this helpful guide from OSHA: Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety and Health Outcomes.