Discussion of: the role of leading indicators in the surveillance of occupational health and safety.
Amick BC III; Apoodaca S; Wurzelbacher S
Use of workers' compensation data for occupational safety and health: proceedings from June 2012 workshop. Utterback DF, Schnorr TM, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-147, 2013 May; :199-200
Leading indicators are assessed by collecting information about how the organization is behaving particularly around occupational health and safety. Leading indicators therefore: proceed occupational health and safety outcomes, are a characteristic of the organization, if changed imply occupational health and safety outcomes will change, and implicitly or explicitly incorporate a process of change. The literature in North America has focused on 5 leading indicator concepts: safety culture, safety climate, occupational health and safety management systems, joint health and safety committee and organizational policies and practices. No one metric seems capable of fulfilling all the needs. Thus, there is a need for a broad series of metrics that capture the complexity of organizational and management programs, policies and practices important in predicting injuries, illnesses and work disability outcomes. However key questions remain: 1. Many of the questions on these different tools are quite similar, therefore are items in danger of measuring the same construct? 2. Which concepts truly predict injuries and illnesses? 3. Which questions can be more reliably reported and who is the best in the organization to act as the responder? 4. If organizations change do these tools capture the change? 5. How do researchers interpret a change in scores using these tools?
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