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Show the Value of Safety Training with Metrics

Metrics can help show the value of your safety training to your organization. How can you establish effective metrics for your training program?

For metrics to be effective, says Susan Prince, JD, a legal editor with BLR, they need to be the right metrics, and they need to be aligned with business objectives.

"Training is an area that can be difficult to quantify," Prince says. "However, it may be helpful to look at metrics that target the type of training and what it was intended to accomplish."

Prince offers these practical tips for using metrics:

  • Make sure metrics give the whole picture, including quantity, quality, cost, and effectiveness.
  • Focus on key areas where change is necessary.
  • Develop a benchmark to use for evaluating progress toward goals.
  • Compare your organization's metrics with similar measures from key competitors, if possible.
  • Use the language of business leaders, including ratios and measurements they know.
  • Remember that hard metrics (real data) are always better than soft metrics.
  • Make sure the metrics you use are easy to understand and that the data is readily available.
  • Don't keep the metrics a secret. In order to drive change, employees have to know what is being measured and rewarded.
  • Don't forget that the quality of results is as important as quantity or cost.
  • Calculate return on investment (ROI) whenever possible to make a strong business case for safety training.
  • Use metrics to identify trends and head off problems on the horizon.

OSHA Cost Calculator

When developing metrics for safety training programs, a key issue is the cost of accidents, injuries, and illness that could be prevented by more or better safety and health training.

To help you quantify the cost of accidents and injuries as part of your training metrics, OSHA has developed a software program that allows safety professionals to calculate the costs of occupational injuries and illnesses on their organization's profitability.

The calculation worksheet uses a profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness, and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to generate in order to cover those costs.

Information by Safety Daily Advisor.