Much industry guidance has been published over recent years, specific to different industry contexts, on how to better use leading indicators of health and safety performance to support assessments of the adequacy of workplace risk control measures.
HSE’s large data archive detailing the findings of all of its proactive and reactive workplace inspection and investigation activities (its inspectors carry out over 20,000 workplace inspections in a typical year) provides an invaluable intelligence resource for investigating key precursors to failures in health and safety occurring in workplaces.
Such intelligence offers opportunities to identify those specific precursors most closely associated with different categories of failure event. This insight, if made effectively available to industry, is likely to be invaluable in helping them shape decisions regarding how best to prevent future failures in health and safety and provide the early warning signs to look out for indicating more serious failure events might be potentially around the corner.
The availability of such operational intelligence might even enable operators to predict with a certain level of confidence where and when the next significant failure event might take place across their operations.
The leading indicators of health and safety failures project being delivered as part of the Discovering Safety Programme aims to adopt a driven-approach to generating such intelligence using HSE’s data archive generated as part of its regulatory activities as a reference dataset.