Key EHS performance metrics leadership should consider

The EHS department can easily become a major cost center if you don’t monitor its performance. Reducing incident rates can not only lower safety costs, but it can also help other departments.

Fewer incidents mean increased productivity, output, and employee satisfaction. From your turnover rate to your overhead costs, EHS performance metrics impact many areas of the business.

Free template!

Use this template to compile a monthly safety report of all the EHS metrics you’re tracking.

Top 8 EHS performance metrics

Here is my list of the top 8 performance metrics the EHS department should monitor and report on a regular basis.

  1. Incident rates: Number and rate of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, as well as the number and rate of environmental incidents such as spills or releases.
  2. Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements: Percentage of compliance with relevant EHS laws and regulations, as well as the number of inspections and citations received.
  3. Employee engagement and participation: Percentage of employees who have received EHS training, the number of employee suggestions for EHS improvement, and the number of employee led EHS initiatives.
  4. EHS management system effectiveness: Percentage of management system elements that are implemented and maintained, as well as the percentage of compliant management system elements.
  5. EHS performance improvement: Number and rate of EHS incidents over time, as well as the percentage of improvement in EHS performance from year to year.
  6. Return on investment (ROI) on EHS initiatives: Costs and benefits of EHS initiatives, such as the costs of implementing an EHS management system compared to the reduction in workplace incidents and injuries.
  7. Environmental indicators: Energy consumption, water usage, waste generated, CO2 emissions, etc.
  8. Human exposure and health indicators: Noise levels, air quality, chemical exposure, etc.

It’s important to note that these are just examples and that leadership should choose the metrics that are most relevant to their unique EHS risks and objectives.

Failure modes

Common failure modes for key EHS performance metrics that leadership should consider include:

  1. Lack of data: Without accurate and reliable data, it can be difficult for leadership to effectively monitor and improve EHS performance.
  2. Limited focus on specific hazards: While key EHS performance metrics provide a general overview of EHS performance, they may not fully address specific hazards or risks that are unique to an organization or industry.
  3. Insufficient employee engagement: Without the participation and buy-in of employees, key EHS performance metrics may not accurately reflect the organization’s overall EHS performance
  4. Limited scope of data: EHS performance metrics may only cover specific areas or locations, and not the entire organization.
  5. Lack of actionable information: EHS performance metrics may not provide actionable information for leadership to make improvements.
  6. Limited frequency of data collection: Data collection may not be frequent enough to capture real-time performance and emerging trends.
  7. Inadequate data analysis: Data analysis may not be thorough enough to identify underlying causes of EHS issues.

It’s important for leadership to consider these failure modes and take steps to address them in order to effectively monitor and improve their organization’s EHS performance.