Back to overview

How do I measure the process?

The Search for Reliable Leading Indicators - Are There Really Any?

A few weeks ago, a new series of articles called The Best vs. The Worst was launched, where safety specialists from large global companies discuss specific issues in the world of industrial safety.

The first article in the series is very interesting and if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you do so by clicking here. The main theme is the search for leading indicators that work.

The topic catches attention and I think it is worth commenting a little about it from the point of view of SafeStart since we hear a lot: how can the process be measured?

The SafeStart implementation process and the strengthening of the Culture are measured more effectively, thanks to the help of Leading Indicators. According to the Campbell Institute definition:

“Leading indicators are proactive, preventative, and predictive measures that monitor and provide current information about the effective performance, activities, and processes of an EHS management system that drive the identification and elimination or control of risks in the workplace that can cause incidents and injuries.”

Transforming EHS Performance Measurement Through Leading Indicators, Campbell Institute.

Active use of various proactive metrics is suggested for:

  1. anticipate, prevent, or eliminate risky behaviors and losses,
  2. monitor and evaluate Performance,
  3. motivate safe behaviors, personal commitment, and continuous improvement, and
  4. communicate results to Management and employees.


The activities designed and aimed at applying the 5 long-term success factors can become leading indicators of the process, along with all those that are part of the Management System (MS).

The 5 Long-Term Success Factors for SafeStart Implementation are:

  1. Demonstrated buy-in and commitment from all levels of the organisation (during and after implementation);
  2. Proper delivery of SafeStart Core and the SafeStart Extended Application Units;
  3. Real Commitment by company for safety 24/7 and getting the family involved by taking SafeStart home;
  4. Integration of SafeStart concepts into the company’s ongoing safety training and safety management system;
  5. SafeStart only used positively (help vs. blame).

Among others, the following categories of Leading Indicators (LI) are suggested:

Interpersonal communication:

  • Safety talks given by leaders and supervisors.
  • Safety talks given by the collaborators.
  • Observations and approaches with positive feedback (Traditional SBC).
  • Periodic safety meetings.


The resources allocated for the improvement and consolidation of culture can include subcategories such as personnel, materials, method, time, and financing that have been invested in the implementation efforts and can also be a key indicator of the commitment of the top management in the improvement of the Safety Culture.

Process monitoring and measurement:

Perception surveys can be useful as an indicator of the level of progress, change, and consolidation of the culture. They provide the employer with feedback from the employees, related to the specific strengths and weaknesses that may exist in the Organization’s Safety Culture.

Motivate Safe Behaviors:

Indicators can be defined as related to activities aimed at preventing states from being stimulated by leadership and supervisors, identification of habits in operations, improvement of habits related to safety, empowerment to stop a risky activity (related to the “State-to-Error Pattern”), among others.

As an integral part of the process of cultural consolidation with the help of SafeStart, an orientation session is offered to the Steering Committee, who will be the most important entity in the project and who will materialize the suggested action plans.

During this session, we will show the different management indicators, both leading and lagging, that are useful for determining and measuring the progress of the project. Approximately 45 indicators are provided with their respective weighting and control panel, so that progress is periodically presented to management and interested parties. To complement this, checklists are provided to monitor progress each semester.

Due to the aforementioned, the SafeStart implementation process has a clear roadmap during its proposed 4-year execution, where we can answer management’s recurring question… “How do I measure the process?”.