(72d) Recommended Leading Safety Indicators for the Fire Protection Industry

Sharp, G. N. - Presenter, Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC

The purpose of this report is to determine whether leading safety indicators can be adapted and applied to fire protection as a predictive metric in a safety program. Given that use of leading safety indicators as an injury and illness prevention tool has been demonstrated to reduce rates, then can specific indicators be developed for use by fire protection programs? Through the use of a literature review and incorporation of empirical survey data it is possible to develop leading safety indicators for fire protection. The research methodology used a survey instrument to gather data from fire protection and Environment, Safety & Health (ES&H) professionals, as well as graduate students from the University of Tennessee's Master of Safety program. Several research questions were developed to help determine the scope and purpose of the research. The questions asked were: 1. What are leading safety indicators? 2. Where have leading safety indicators been used successfully? 3. How familiar and comfortable is a specific industrial safety program with the application of leading safety indicators? 4. What three leading safety indicators can be developed from the most important elements of a fire protection program? The research provided an adequate number of references to answer the research questions, with several recommendations presented for consideration. The study concludes that leading safety indicators have been successfully implemented by a variety of industrial locations as a means to improve safety programs, reduce injuries and related costs. The results of this study indicate which elements of a fire protection program could be adapted for leading safety indicators. Although further study is necessary to determine the effectiveness of fire protection leading safety indicators, the target program elements are known and the evaluation criteria has been discussed.