What is safety trends analysis and why is visualizing trends so important

What Is Safety Trends Analysis?

Safety trends analysis is a systematic method of studying and interpreting historical data, patterns, and changes over time to identify future potential outcomes or to make informed decisions. There is a lot on a safety manager’s plate at any time. Effective trends analysis helps EHS teams determine the areas or tasks with the greatest potential risk so they can make the largest impact on the business.

Benefits of Visualizing Incident Trends

Trends analysis is a powerful method for companies to gain insights into the patterns and correlations between workplace incidents. By analyzing these trends, organizations can better understand the root causes of incidents, identify areas of concern, and take proactive steps to improve workplace safety. 

Specific improvements include:

  • Identifying patterns and correlations: Visualizing incident trends helps organizations detect recurring near-misses or incidents that might get missed through traditional reporting methods. With a better view of their organization’s safety, companies can prioritize areas for improvement and develop targeted safety initiatives.
  • Prioritizing work: A clear visualization of incident trends simplifies decision-making processes for stakeholders, making it easier to determine the most effective and efficient measures to improve workplace safety.
  • Improving employee engagement: By sharing incident trend visualizations with employees, companies can raise awareness of potential hazards and encourage a proactive approach to workplace safety. This open communication leads to increased employee engagement and a safer work environment.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Analyzing Safety Trends

The following is a step-by-step guide to analyzing safety trends and implementing targeted safety improvements.

Step 1: Define Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Start by establishing the objectives of your incident trend analysis. Determine which KPIs you will track to measure progress toward your goals. Common KPIs include incident rates, lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), and total recordable incident rate (TRIR).

Step 2: Collect and Organize Incident Data

Gather incident data. Here, consider three factors: data accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. Gaps or inconsistencies in the data can lead you to draw false conclusions, and delays in gathering the data – caused by scenarios such as manually collected and scanned incident reports – can prevent you from correcting a future incident. Use a mix of incident reporting methods, including mobile apps or kiosks that send data immediately to your incident management reports. Ensure that the data is captured with several imported dimensions, such as incident type, location, and severity, to more precisely identify trends..

Step 3: Choose the Right Visualization Tools

Select appropriate visualization tools to display your incident data, like bar charts, line graphs, heat maps, or other visualization techniques. The choice of tools will depend on the nature of the data and the intended audience. Leading EHS software platforms should include visual incident dashboards, amongst other analysis features.

Step 4: Analyze Incident Trends

Analyze the visualized data to identify patterns and correlations between incidents. For example, look for trends such as common incident types, locations, or times of day when incidents occur more frequently. This analysis will provide insights into the underlying factors contributing to workplace incidents.

Based on your analysis, determine the areas of concern that require attention. These areas might include specific work processes, equipment, or employee behaviors. Then, develop targeted safety initiatives to address these areas and reduce the likelihood of future incidents.

Step 5: Implement and Monitor Improvements

Implement the safety initiatives identified in Step 5 and monitor their effectiveness. Use the KPIs established in Step 1 to track progress and determine whether they achieve the desired results. Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives and make adjustments as necessary.

Step 6: Communicate Results and Engage Employees

Share the results of your incident trend analysis with employees and relevant stakeholders. Open communication not only promotes transparency but also helps to raise awareness of potential hazards and the importance of workplace safety. Encourage employees to participate in safety initiatives and provide feedback on possible improvements.

ProcessMAP, an Ideagen Solution Can Help

Visualizing incident trends is a powerful tool for identifying areas of concern and driving workplace safety improvements. However, with so many steps and moving parts, it’s easy for the approach to feel overwhelming. Ideagen’s ProcessMAP solution makes it easy, providing configurable reports, dashboards, and visual risk trending features that support data-driven decision-making and strengthen your safety culture.

Schedule a demo today to learn how ProcessMAP, an Ideagen solution, can help you create a safer workplace.

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