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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Data with caveats

Data with caveats
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Publication Date:
New Zealand

The second annual benchmarking report from the Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum contains some encouraging downward trends in lagging indicators but includes some sensible caveats on how the data should be interpreted.

In other words, things are looking promising but it's early days yet and, in any case, lagging indicators don't tell the full story.

The report covers the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 and uses data from 65 participating member companies, up from 53 who participated in the first benchmarking study a year earlier. (The report notes the forum's aim is for 60% of its members to participate each year, which at current membership levels would require 75 members to participate.)

Increased participation lifted the total number of hours worked by employees from 102 million in the previous year to 143 million this time. The report notes that the data covers employees only, not contractors, a flaw it hopes to address. This particularly skews the data for industry sectors heavily reliant on contractors, such as construction, and agriculture/forestry/fishing.

Six of the participating organisations achieved no recordable injuries for the year, and 22 reported a TRIFR of less than 1. The overall TRIFR declined from 6.7 to 4.6, while in absolute terms the total recordable injuries dropped from 3411 to 3279, despite the significant increase in hours worked. There was one fatality in the group.

Lost-time injuries were static - 1052 last time, 1055 this time - so the LTIFR declined from 2.1 to 1.5 giving the extra hours worked. As a indicator of injury severity, the average number of days lost per LTI declined from 16.2 to 14.9.

The report is up front about the limitations of the data, including the near-zero reports of occupational illness, and the fact that in some industry sectors the true injury rate might be considerably higher because contractor injury figures are not currently recorded. The common false assumption that a low LTIFR implies a low risk of serious harm is also usefully noted.

Organisations Mentioned:
Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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