January 5, 2010 | Barb Carr

Part One: A Safety Metrics discussion behind closed doors……..

On July 31, 2009 we started a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Users and Friends Linkedin Group, to promote more opportunities to update your expert contact list and ask questions from TapRooT® Clients, Instructors, and their Friends. We add people everyday and would like to see it continue to grow and become a valuable resource for you with each additional question and answer session.

To promote the group’s value, here is one of two discussions that I will share in the upcoming weeks. For more, you will have to join. This discussion was started by Mark Ralls, HSE Manager at Production Services Network. Here is his Linkedin Profile if you want to connect: Mark Ralls

One other interesting point is that while this Q & A only contains 10 posts, Mark let me know that numerous experts contacted him offline, which is great!


What do you measure? Mark Ralls, HSE Manager at Production Services Network and a TapRooT® Client

I was having a discussion with our HSE team this past week and they asked me a question.

Since Tap Root people are some of the most knowledgeable people around, what proactive measures do they use to measure HSE performance?

We have a number of things we measure, BBS, Near miss reports and such.

Any comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Posted 22 days ago | Reply Privately | Make featured | Delete discussion


From Dennis Osmer, Owner, Osmer & Associates, LLC, and a TapRooT® Instructor

Sounds like time to move into predictive measures such as training time, number of near misses, inspections, management audits, etc.

Posted 21 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment


From Jason Laws, Plant Manager at Gulbrandsen Technologies and a TapRooT® Client

We do measure Near Misses. We audit for proper safety on a bi-weekly, weekly basis in the Plant, and we document our TRIR.

I have never been a fan of using Total Recordable Incident Rate as a sole predictor of safety. I have to dig it up, but there was a good article on this awhile back in CEP.

We also measure process non-conformance. High temp alarms, pressure excursions, etc. I have come from a background that focused on the trips, slips and falls. Those are important, but the “catastrophic loss of life, property and capital” may not be predicted or prevented by these type of metrics.

Unfortunately, most of our current work is done as a reaction to an incident. We have incident database where we keep Pareto Charts for our Investigation findings. Currently, we track 4 types of incidents investigations: mechanical failures, quality issues, customer issues, safety incidents ( or near incidents).

Each sub group is broken down in to 3 Pareto Charts. 1. The Human Performance area. 2. The Near Root Cause. 3. The Root Causes discovered.

We couple these with a dollar cost or serious multiplier. This has helped to focus our resources on the performance areas that are causing us the most trouble, or what you might call our “general and systemic root cause usual suspects.”

Resources are as limited as they have ever been. This screening tool takes time to develop, and it takes active and quality investigations. We then follow them up with TapRoot(R) audits and CHAPS focusing on those key problem areas. We try to use this to focus our limited resources to the largest affect.

Our goal is a Total Process Improvement across the board. The Safety Triangle is Well Know. However, I like to think of it as a Total Performance Pyramid. One side is the Safety Triangle. The other Two are Quality and Performance. As we can reduce the size of each triangle (with fewer non-conforming events ) the size of each triangle should reduce. If we can run a stable plant, then the need to hurry is reduced then I believe the size of the safety triangle would also reduce with fewer recordables and overall improved safety.

This spreads the responsibility for safety and performance improvement as well as metric collection across departmental lines. These metrics will come from several departments that have the responsibility of developing and executing corrective action programs.

Now this may need a change in corporate philosophy and management by-in that Improvement goes beyond safety and the HSE department alone. It’s one way that we have been trying to collect the most effective metrics with as low an demand on our limited resources.

Posted 21 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment

Christopher Vallee, TapRooT® Instructor and System Improvements, Inc. Senior Associate

Thanks Dennis and Jason for answering Mark’s post.

Here are a few links to presentations on metrics during the summit. What ever you measure (x1, x2, x3) changes to them should be tied into lagging indicators (y1, y2). If the x’s change and you see now change in LTI’s or Near misses thne you need to dig deeper.




Posted 20 days ago | Delete comment


From Jason Laws, Plant Manager at Gulbrandsen Technologies and a TapRooT® Client

Chris, enjoyed the slides. Looks like I am working a manual path with my version of the software. I will try to get my Company to embrace the enterprise version. Right now, running my Plant as a pilot version. So, I am getting buy with the single user licenses.

If I can make it to San Antonio, I will try to sit in on some of the ver-5 sessions.

I also like your cube example in the second presentation. It may borrow the analogy to supplement my pyramid example.

Posted 20 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment


From Mark Ralls, HSE Manager at Production Services Network and a TapRooT® Client

Here is a list of things we currently measure. As you can see there are proactive, predictive and reactive measures.

If any one has comments or question on any of the things we measure please comment or ask your question. We have a very low OSHA rate currently and a mature program and are looking for anything that can help us improve even more.

If you measure anything that is not on our list please let me know what it is with an explanation of how you use it if possible.

• OSHA recordable Injury and Illness rate
• Lost time rate
• Restricted rates
• Severity rates
• First-aid rates
o All of the above is tracked by company employee, contract employees and combined.
• Environmental incidents
• Management Commitment
o Safety meeting attendance (personal and work group)
o BBS observation conducted (personal and work group)
o Field inspections conducted
o Work force safety and skills training
o Steering committees attendance
• Planning for safety
o Job safety analysis (JSA or JHA) completed
o Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) conducted
o Prestart-up Safety Reviews (PSSR) conducted
o Safety staffing of sub-contractors
• Near-misses
o Number reported
o Number investigated
o Potential severity
• Incident investigation conducted
o All corrective action tracked to completion
o Corrective action completed by assigned completion date
o Root causes tracked and trended
o Basic cause categories
• Motor vehicle incidents (anything that even scratches the paint)
• BBS observation
o Average number completed per employee
o Every at risk activity (with trending back over several years)
• Facility inspection conducted
o All finding are tracked and trended by type, location and area.
• Audits conducted (internal, third party and regulatory)
o All finding are tracked to completion and are trended against all prior audit findings.
• Preventative maintenance
o Pm’s conducted and time
o Mechanical failure analysis
o Included in the above would be many types of predictive maintenance measures. (temp, vibration, flow, etc.)
• Costs
o Incident costs both direct & indirect
o Maintenance costs, both preventative and repair
• Employee turn over
o Measured by area for both company employees and contractors
o Length of service
o Ratio of new employees to those will longer term of service

There may be other things we measure, but this is a good list to start with.

Posted 20 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment


From Dennis Osmer, Owner, Osmer & Associates, LLC, and a TapRooT® Instructor

an impressive list — you might consider additionally: training time, emergency & BC drills, process risk analysis, site risk analysis & attitude surveys — in the past, I’ve used a collection of measurements that would change every 14 to 16 months (with notification & education of course)
best wishes for your continued success

Posted 20 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment


From Christopher Vallee, TapRooT® Instructor and System Improvements, Inc. Senior Associate

Agreed an impressive list of metrics… now the test. Do you have an x1 + x2 + x3 = Y understanding of your proactive measures and their impact on lagging indicator changes?

Say I have a moderate near missing rating (lagging indicator) and it increases or decreases, can I say which proactive changes (increased or reduced) correlated to the near miss rating?

If you stopped certain improvement programs would this show an impact on your lagging indicators?



From Mark Ralls, HSE Manager at Production Services Network and a TapRooT® Client

Good question Chris. No we don’t. I think that is a direction we need to go.

I have reviewed the slides you posted and wish I had made the class at the Summit. Will this be offered again at the next Summit? I plan on being there.

I will need to see how we can implement what you teach. It is a little different concept for us.

Posted 19 days ago | Reply Privately | Delete comment

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