Using Data to Reduce Injuries and Costs

Guest Blog by Ed Pyle, SCSA

It is common for construction companies to collect safety data from their safety processes and procedures and for managers to review safety incidents and financial reports to understand the frequency, cost and severity of injuries.  These reports help to understand OHS failures of the past and the impact these injuries have to the bottom-line performance of a company.

Firms are motivated by understanding their injury performance measured against the performance of their peers

Looking at that data on an industry-level, academic studies have noted the following:

  • Evidence shows that COR is an effective safety program which provides a meaningful reduction in cost and frequency of injuries.
  • Externally audited safety programs are more effective than those that use an internal auditor.
  • Firms are motivated by understanding their injury performance measured against the performance of their peers.
  • Management practices are critical to the success of any safety program.

More specific data with customized calculations can provide information that is meaningful on a company level.  For example, the SCSA and its partners intend to provide improved insights to members in the near future on the following questions:

  • Do studies which show that COR is an effective safety program apply to Saskatchewan firms?
  • If an externally audited safety program is more effective at reducing risk and cost than an internally audited safety program, what is the difference? Which areas of a safety program does an external auditor see differently than an internal auditor in a particular company?
  • How do member companies perform against direct peers on the cost of injuries and frequency of injury?
  • Are there particular triggers that indicate a company should examine management practices?

Smaller companies may feel they lack sufficient data or resources to make decisions based on analytics but in the weeks and months to come, the SCSA will be providing a number of analytical reports at no-charge to members.  These reports, when properly analyzed should provide companies with better intelligence to target improvements to a safety program that will ultimately aim to reduce injuries and financial risk in every company.

Ed Pyle, SCSA

Ed Pyle is the Manager of Corporate Development with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA). He will be a regular contributor to the EHS Analytics blog so please stay tuned for more informative articles!