“Don’t worry, I know right where I’m going,” I said to my wife. Then an almost-human voice ratted on me: “Rerouting … rerouting…” Now she knew I was lost! In the technology intense culture of our day millions of drivers recognize these words, or others like them, as a timely, practical message they have gone off track. The GPS device not only recognizes when a driver is off course, but immediately begins plotting a new path to back on track. I do not know of such a computer aided, satellite technology, audible device for rerouting safety cultures when they get off track. However, there are numerous indicators that do signal a safety culture that is off course. You are all familiar with injury rates as being one of these. There are others such as:
- Near-miss events and what is done about them
- Safety Perception Surveys and what is done about the kind of data they deliver
- Physical audits and what is done about them
- Workface one-on-one interviews and what is done about them
- Value added safety accountabilities across the organization and how consistently they take place
I guess we could call these sorts of timely messages as examples of practical leading indicators that benefit the course and direction of your organization’s safety reality. That is as long as you and your organization do something about the data you receive and reroute aspects of your safety culture accordingly.