How to Build a Safety KPI Dashboard? 8 Metrics You Should Include

Author's avatar Analytics Sep 22, 2023 11 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    While increasing conversions, attracting customers, and generating profit are undoubtedly one of the company’s main focuses, creating a safe work environment for employees is just as equally important.

    But, it’s also equally hard.

    Just like with any other major sector, safety executives need a safety KPI dashboard to properly track the most important safety metrics and spot insightful patterns.

    The only problem is – it’s not that easy to build safety dashboards.

    In this article, we will show you how to build a safety dashboard and go through all of the most relevant metrics that should find their way onto it.

    Jump into the section you’re most interested in.


    What Is a Safety KPI Dashboard and Why Is It Important?

    A safety KPI dashboard is an incident analysis tool that displays and visualizes all of the most relevant safety-related KPIs, metrics, and trends.

    Typically, a safety metrics dashboard is used by safety managers, executives, production managers, HR managers, and analysts.

    This type of dashboard helps the people in charge of safety spot important patterns and trends, understand whether their initiatives have been efficient, and acquire more data needed for risk management.

    Also, most companies use them to keep track of accidents, preventative activities (drills and training), and operational processes like risk assessment completion.

    Depending on the company’s specific industry, the main focus of the dashboard will vary.

    For instance, a manufacturing company will mostly make use of a safety metrics dashboard to monitor and increase the safety of their manufacturing plants.

    Other companies might incorporate it to speed up safety records and gain an appropriate workplace reputation.

    Some of the most commonly included metrics in safety dashboard examples are:

    • Injury rate
    • Days lost
    • Days restricted
    • Incident severity
    • Incident costs
    • Corrective action completion

    Which Metrics Should Be Included in a Safety Metrics Dashboard?

    Safety metrics display the company’s safety performance and provide sufficient data that can be used for making improvements.  

    By properly categorizing these metrics in safety dashboard examples, companies have a much easier time understanding the safety of their projects, sites, or overall organization.

    As we mentioned, you will need to prioritize different safety metrics depending on which industry you’re in.

    For example, construction and mining companies should be a lot more granular in their analysis since any kind of safety negligence can lead to tragic consequences.

    Before we get into the exact metrics, it’s worth mentioning that there are two types of safety metrics:

    • Lagging indicators – Measure a company’s historical performance and are generally the most publicized safety metrics. They include recorded injuries, accidents, injuries, etc.
    • Leading indicators – Focus on measures that can indicate future performance and prioritize input. Safety training and safety audits fall under this category.

    Now that you understand the context, let’s go over some of the most important metrics that are generally used in safety KPI dashboards.

    1. Number and Types of Incidents
    2. Experience Modification Rate (EMR)
    3. Reported Near Misses
    4. Safety Audits and Inspections
    5. Corrective Actions
    6. Project, Site, and Worker Safety Participation
    7. Injury and Illness Rates
    8. ROI

    Number and Types of Incidents

    Tracking the number of incidents that occurred during a specific time frame is one of the most essential safety metrics.

    While the number of incidents is significant, it’s crucial that you go a few steps further than that and analyze where the incidents occurred and how. This helps safety managers identify the problematic areas.

    Also, it’s important that you segment the type of incident too.

    By type, we mean categorizing the incident into minor, major, and critical. Another categorization can be machinery, vehicle, or working at heights.

    The specific categorization you go with should be based on the type of business you’re in.

    Monitoring the number and types of incidents is pretty much mandatory, especially since auditors and authorities will want to know why they occur and who’s responsible for them.

    Experience Modification Rate (EMR)

    While this metric isn’t as well-known as the previous one, it has a huge impact on the bottom line.

    EMR monitors the number of claims against a business. It measures how much past injuries cost the company and how “expensive” future injuries might be.

    This safety metric is also important to insurance companies since they use it to adjust insurance rates and compensation plans for workers.

    Reported Near Misses

    As the name suggests, reported near misses showcase how many times an employee could’ve been injured on the job, but narrowly avoided it – a near miss.

    Just like with other safety metrics, it’s important that you gain insight into where the near misses are occurring and why.

    To properly track this, you need to let the employees know that they should always report the near misses; otherwise, your data won’t be very representative.

    Safety Audits and Inspections

    These three previous safety metrics that we’ve gone through all fall under the lagging indicators category.

    This one is one of the most important leading indicator safety metrics.

    The whole purpose of conducting safety inspections and audits is to mitigate risk by analyzing specific activities, spotting procedure weaknesses, and making an effort to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place.

    To be more precise, inspections typically occur on site (e.g. site inspection), while safety audits prioritize policies and safety procedures.

    One of the main reasons you should track this metric is to see whether you’re having a proper amount of inspections based on incidents.

    For instance, if you’re company is facing a large number of equipment incidents like vehicle failures, then you should have vehicle inspections more frequently.

    In theory, this is supposed to minimize the number of incidents.

    Corrective Actions

    The main purpose of tracking safety KPIs and using a safety metrics dashboard is to take some form of action based on the insight.

    This is the reason why corrective actions should be one of your primary focuses.

    Corrective action is an action that is taken to improve a problematic company area. Each time an incident or near miss occurs, it should be followed by some form of corrective action.

    Of course, corrective action should also be implemented based on the data you acquire from other safety metrics.

    Doing corrective actions just for the sake of it won’t do much good to anyone, so always try to have a specific framework in place to figure out when action is needed and what it will look like.

    Project, Site, and Worker Safety Participation

    Safety management has one main goal in mind – proper safety outcomes.

    And, one of the ways to ensure this is through safety participation (training sessions and toolbox talks).

    Since monitoring safety participation can be a bit complex, many companies incorporate safety management software to simplify the process.

    Injury and Illness Rates

    While company and site safety metrics seem to get most of the spotlight, it’s important not to neglect the well-being of your employees.

    This is especially the case for industrial and mining companies since there has been lots of evidence gathered in the past few years that indicate that certain type of work can have a major impact on wellness.

    Even though most of these metrics aren’t really within a company’s control, everyone should pay attention to illness rates in order to spot important patterns and establish a better (and healthier) workforce.


    Naturally, keeping track of all these safety metrics costs both time and money.

    This is why it’s crucial that a company has insight into which investments are paying off and which not so much.

    Of course, you can’t stop investing in safety altogether, but you can monitor different activities and projects to check out the ROI and see where money is being properly spent. And see where there is a better way to spend it.

    For instance, this can be hiring a safety coordinator that can keep an eye on things instead of spending a fortune on training sessions.

    How to Build a Safety Metrics Dashboard?

    Okay, so we have gone over what a safety KPI dashboard is and listed all of the most important safety metrics that you should include.

    Now that you have all the ingredients let’s show you how to build a safety metrics dashboard in Databox.

    Step 1: Create a new Databoard

    Once you log in to your Databox account, simply go to the ‘Databoards’ section and press ‘New Databoard’.

    Create a new Databoard

    You’ll see two options – ‘Use Wizard’ and ‘Start Blank’.

    If you choose the Wizard, you’ll be navigated to a page where you can select a data source and the metrics that will appear on the Databoard.

    By picking ‘Start Blank’, you will be transferred to the ‘Designer’ page where you can create a Databoard from scratch.

    Step 2: Add metrics

    Our metric library has more than 3,000 pre-built Datablocks – each one is a combination of metrics and visualization types and is based on the most popular use cases. 

    To upload one, simply press the ‘Metric Library’ icon in the left corner of the Designer menu.

    Add metrics

    Choose which data source you want to connect to the Databoard from the drop-down list that will pop up.

    This can be any data source in which you store your safety metrics (Excel, Google Sheets, etc.).

    There is also a list of pre-built Datablocks for each data source. You can use the search bar to find specific metrics faster.

    Once you choose a Datablock, simply drag and drop it onto your Databoard. This will prompt an automatic re-population with the data source-based data.

    To further customize the Datablock, you can click on it and open up the ‘Datablock Editor’.

    All of the metrics you add will be listed in the ‘My Metrics’ section, which will help you better organize the safety dashboard example and visualize them.

    Step 3: Add visualization

    First, press the ‘Visualization Types’ button on the left side of the Designer and choose which visualization you want to include and customize.

    Drag and drop the visualization onto the Databoard and a blank Datablock will automatically appear.

    Add visualisation

    Now, click on the Datablock to open the ‘Datablock Editor’. You can use the editor to customize the visualization in any way you want.

    Get Key Safety Metrics and KPIs in One Dashboard

    Considering how important safety KPI dashboards are, it’s clear that it’s essential for every company to incorporate them (especially due to legal obligations).

    However, that’s a bit easier said than done, especially if you do everything manually.

    In most cases, your safety data will be stored in different places (PDFs, Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Word Docs, Emails, etc.), which means you’d have to track each source separately to get to it.

    That alone takes a few hours of work.

    Next, you have to filter out the most important data, segment it, and then analyze it.

    Add a few more hours to the calculation.

    If this process looks awfully familiar to what you’re currently doing, it might be time to try out the charms of modern business analytics software like Databox.

    Databox streamlines this entire process by offering a bundle of practical features.

    For starters, building a safety dashboard will literally take a few minutes.

    You connect the data sources in which you’re safety metrics are stored, drag and drop the metrics you want onto the dashboard, and then visualize them with a few clicks of a button.

    Once you build a safety KPI dashboard that looks neat, you can save it as a template and use it again in future reporting as well.

    Additionally, if creating a safety metrics dashboard from scratch feels overwhelming, you can always customize one of our existing templates and replace the metrics with your own.

    Finally, if even this is something out of your time reach, we have a support team that can do the job for you. Just let them know what you want to include, and depending on the metrics needed, the dashboard may be ready as soon as in 24 hours.

    See first-hand why we are one of the leaders in the industry and sign up for a free trial!

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    Article by
    Filip Stojanovic

    Filip Stojanovic is a content writer who studies Business and Political Sciences. Also, I am a huge tennis enthusiast. Although my dream is to win a Grand Slam, working as a content writer is also interesting.

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