New OSHA Web Page Collects Guidance, Resources on Leading Indicators

Published August 8, 2019

​A new web page published by OSHA focuses on the use of leading indicators to improve health and safety outcomes. OSHA describes leading indicators as “proactive, preventive, and predictive measures that provide information about the effective performance” of health and safety activities. Leading indicators measure events that lead up to injuries, illnesses, and other incidents, and can reveal potential problems in a health and safety program. OSHA’s new page is intended to show how businesses can improve safety and health programs by tracking workplace conditions and events to prevent injuries or illnesses before they occur. According to the agency, employers that use leading indicators can reduce costs associated with incidents, improve productivity and organizational performance, optimize safety and health performance, and demonstrate their commitment to maintaining a socially responsible workplace that values workers.

The page includes a guidance document that provides an introduction to leading indicators and describes how employers can use them. For example, employers can use leading indicators based on data they are already collecting, for controlling an identified hazard, or to improve an element of their health and safety program. The document also includes an “action plan checklist” that employers can use to begin using leading indicators in their workplace. “Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety and Health Outcomes” is available as a PDF.

OSHA’s new page also collects additional resources related to leading indicators.