To increase competitiveness, 83% of CIOs have visionary plans that include business intelligence and analytics. (The Essential CIO, IBM 2011)
Business intelligence and analytics will be a part of everyone's jobs, if it is not already. And, there is no other area in organizations that could benefit more from using business intelligence, than our safety departments. The safety field collects a plethora of safety intelligence from training records to safety observations. Unfortunately, this critical safety intelligence is often not used, miss-used, or just plain ignored.
How do organizations assess their safety performance? If one were to ask a safety professional how safe of a company do they have, they typically would respond "Pretty safe". If one were to ask their employees this question, how would they respond? Most likely, the employee would respond by quoting one of many "safety" statistics that have been tracked for generations by organizations and our government (NSC, 1955). Too often, organizations assess their safety performance solely on lagging indicators like recordable rate, total recordable rate, lost workday rate, DART rate, EMR, and fatalities to name a few (BLS, 2012). But, do these numbers assess how safe of an organization we have? These lagging indicators might tell us how risky of an organization we have, but it does not tell us how safe of an organization we have. After all, is it not possible to have no reported incidents and still have a considerable amount of risky occurring on a regular basis? So, I would put forth that many organizations are only using injury metrics and are rarely using safety metrics.