June 8, 2023

OSHA Seeks Stakeholder Input on Leading Indicators

OSHA is asking stakeholders to share their experience and expertise with using leading indicators as well as how and where leading indicators are used within their workplaces. The agency describes leading indicators as “proactive and preventive measures that can provide insight on the effectiveness of safety and health activities and reveal potential problems,” which are also “vital in reducing worker fatalities, injuries, illnesses, and financial impacts.” OSHA intends to gather various perspectives on questions related to the use of leading indicators as it considers developing a resource on the topic. According to the agency, employers will be able to use this resource to create or improve their safety and health management systems.

OSHA seeks to learn from stakeholders what leading indicators they use; how they determine the effectiveness of leading indicators; whether they link leading indicators to outcome data, such as OSHA incident rates, to evaluate results; and the challenges they have encountered when using leading indicators.

A PDF including OSHA’s complete list of questions for stakeholders and instructions for submitting comments may be downloaded from OSHA’s website. The same webpage also provides a link to download OSHA’s 2019 publication Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety and Health Outcomes (PDF), which the agency describes as “a first step to sharing leading health indicators with employers.” Stakeholders may submit feedback regarding OSHA’s leading indicators questions through July 17, 2013, via Docket No. OSHA-2023-0006 on Regulations.gov.

For more information, read OSHA’s press release.

Related: Further discussion of the challenges of developing and using leading indicators to monitor and improve workers’ health may be found in the November 2021 Synergist article “Finding a Balance: Using Leading Health Metrics” by Abby Roberts.