What is a leading indicator?
Leading indicators are proactive measures if identified & implemented under effective monitoring can help to improve workplace safety performance significantly.
Some examples of leading indicators are Leadership engagement, Risk assessment, Emergency preparedness, Training & awareness, HSE observations, Employee motivation, HSE inspection & audit, Nearmiss reporting etc..
Leading indicators are focused on continual improvement, not only gives a view of the current scenario and but also indicates the future course of action.
What is a lagging indicator?
Lagging indicators are reactive, which are the reflection of implemented control measures which is inadequate and identifies the scope of improvements.
Some examples of lagging indicators are Accident/ incidents, Customer complaints, Workdays lost, compensation, legal notice etc..
Though lagging indicators give a view of what is not going well such as injury patterns, non-compliances etc. but at times misunderstood. For example, seeing low injury rate people may become relaxed which later on contribute to future accidents.
Leading & Lagging indicators both are critical for a successful HSE framework when analyzed & applied well in the organization.