The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published two fact sheets that stress the importance of tracking metrics and investigating potential hazards to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, according to OSHA’s QuickTakes newsletter.
Metrics help quantify how a process has performed historically, how it might perform in the future, and where improvements can be made for workplace safety. And the fact sheet, ‘The Use of Metrics in Process Safety Management Facilities’ supplies examples of such metrics used and tracked by facilities under OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program. There are two types of metrics: lagging metrics and leading metrics.
Lagging metrics include (1) Injury and/or Incident Reports Related to Process Safety and (2) Loss of Containment. Leading Metrics pertain to:
- Management of Change (MOC)
- Preventive Maintenance
- Process Hazard Analysis
- Mechanical Integrity
- Safety Action Item
The other fact sheet, ‘The Importance of Root Cause Analysis During Incident Investigation’ explains briefly what a root cause analysis is and how it is to be conducted. Noting that a successful root cause analysis identifies all root causes — there are often more than one, the fact sheet describes that the root cause analysis involves asking several questions on (for example) an oil spill on the plant floor resulting in a slip and fall.
- Why was the oil on the floor in the first place?
- Were there changes in conditions, processes, or the environment?
- What is the source of the oil?
- What tasks were underway when the oil was spilled?
- Why did the oil remain on the floor?
- Why was it not cleaned up?
- How long had it been there?
- Was the spill reported?
The fact sheet also enumerates the benefits of a root cause analysis and supplies a list of Root Cause Analysis tools such as brainstorming, checklists, logic/event trees, timelines, sequence diagrams, and causal factor determination.
Download a PDF of the “The Use of Metrics in PSM Facilities” fact sheet.
Download a PDF of the “The Importance of Root Cause Analysis During Incident Investigation” fact sheet.