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Journal Article


Van Derlyke P, Marin LS, Zreiqat M. Saf. Health Work 2022; 13(3): 343-349.


(Copyright © 2022, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute)








BACKGROUND: In the United States, the dairy product manufacturing industry has consistently had higher rates of work-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses compared to the national average for industries in all sectors. The selection and implementation of appropriate safety performance indicators are important aspect of reducing risk within safety management systems. This study examined the leading safety indicators implemented in the dairy product-manufacturing sector (NAICS 3115) and their perceived effectiveness in reducing work-related injuries.

METHODS: Perceptions were collected from individuals with safety responsibilities in the dairy product manufacturing facilities. OSHA Incident Rate (OIR) and Days away, restricted and transferred (DART) rates from 2013 to 2018 were analyzed.

RESULTS: The perceived most effective leading were safety observations, stop work authority, near miss reporting, safety audits, preventative maintenance, safety inspections, safety training attendance, and job hazard analysis/safety analysis, respectively. The 6-year trend analysis showed that those implementing all eight top indicators had a slightly lower rates than those that did not implement all eight. Production focused mentality, poor training, and lack of management commitment were perceived as the leading causes of injuries in this industry.

CONCLUSION: Collecting leading indicators with the unique interest to meet the regulatory requirements and to document the management system without the actual goal of using them as input to improve the system most probably will not lead to an effective reduction of negative safety outcomes. For leading indicators to be effective, they should be properly selected, executed, periodically evaluated and actions are taken when necessary.

Language: en


safety performance; injury causality; lagging indicators; safety responsibilities


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