Finding the safety needle in a data haystack

As new technologies emerge and computing power increases, we are exposed to more and more data points each day. But in a workplace safety setting, what use is all this data if it’s too much for the human mind to process? The answer lies in data and analytics tools that can show you exactly where you stand on workplace health and safety.


The evolution of safety metrics

The volume and variety of data points have made safety data analysis a challenge for workplace health and safety professionals. Contemporary safety systems have embraced digital technologies, and safety professionals are presented with a growing haystack of data. As a result, the job of identifying the needle(s) that will have the greatest positive impact on safety performance are becoming increasingly harder to find.

Safety metrics have evolved dramatically in the past few decades. From a few lag (reactive) indicators reporting on failures in safety (for example, number and types of injuries and how many days were lost), to the introduction of many lead (predictive) indicators. They include measures of the level of safety activities, consultation and participation, behaviours, hazard identification and maintenance of safe systems of work.

The introduction of these newer lead indicators initially created extra workload for safety teams. This involved collating and analysing data metrics to determine which of the leading measures could be used to successfully predict an outcome. For example, if the number of completed workplace inspections dropped off over a period, would this result in an incident or injury?


Smart data capture

The Third Industrial Revolution, or Digital Revolution, of the latter part of the twentieth century saw greater computing power and more data being produced at an exponential rate. The current, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, focuses on computing power to analyse the datasets that are being generated every second of the day. This means that businesses which are using well designed digital systems to capture data from their safety systems, such as our Safety Champion Software, now have a much greater knowledge of the effectiveness of their investment in safety.


Great insight, better safety performance

The implementation of carefully designed data analytics tools allows managers and safety professionals to extract a much greater level of insight into the performance of a business’s safety system. Moving beyond the superficial numbers of activities and outcomes within the system, data analytics tools can gather intelligence to assess whether the system is efficient and used effectively. They also enable improved issues identification and adjustments to be made to improve performance.

Good data analytics highlights the needles in a data haystack and can be utilised to have the greatest positive impact on safety performance.

Safety Champion’s Data Analytics Module effectively visualises your data via customisable, interactive dashboards to help you identify user behaviour, understand how your workforce interacts with the system, and importantly, make informed data-driven decisions on visible trends.