Has Safety Performance Slipped in Australia?


Has Safety Performance Slipped in Australia?


The analysis of our annual safety performance survey has been completed and the results are finally in, so we now know the answer to this important question.

A big “thank you” to all those who participated in the survey this year! Copies of the report have been mailed out.

The traditional measure of safety has long been the Lost-Time Injury (LTI) rate. This is the primary measure used and thought to be understood at executive and board level. However, experience tells us most executives and directors do not understand the limitations and subtle differences in this measure between countries. For example, LTI rates in the US & UK are different to LTI rates in Australia.

Internationally Comparable Measures

The Total Recordable Injury (TRI) rate has been included in the survey this year for the first time, as many companies with overseas stakeholders or head offices have been seeking comparable measures to those used internationally.

The usual indicators have been retained, including positive performance (lead) and lag indicators per below:

  • Inspections completed on schedule (%)
  • Hazards fixed <60 days (%)
  • Safety climate positive (%)
  • Days lost per employee
  • Cost per employee of workers compensation premiums

How Many Safety People Should We Have?

We are increasingly asked “is there a benchmark for the number of safety specialists for our business?” We have benchmarked the number of safety specialists (effective full time) per 100 employees for Australian & New Zealand businesses. There are some interesting trends in this year’s survey, which probably reflect the changes in the broader economic trends we are seeing.

What is a Life Worth?

The survey report this year also includes a tabulated summary of all OHS prosecutions in Victoria for FY 2014 including: maximum, minimum and average fines for each category, including fatal accidents.

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