Safety Metrics: Why Your Restaurant Needs Them

Safety Metrics: Why Your Restaurant Needs Them

What sort of safety culture does your organization currently promote? And if the answer to the question is somewhat less than where you’d like it to be, or know it should, then the best place to start is to change the way it’s measured. Boost the effectiveness of your safety process by implementing today’s leading advice on how to categorize then measure safety protocols, incidents, communications and how you’re going to calculate and measure progress—as well as failures along the way.

The Right Combination

Indeed, measurement is a critical function of any restaurant or kitchen manager’s job and in itself forms the ways in which your business will continuously improve upon the past and move forward with fewer and fewer accidents. Many thought leaders in the industry believe manager’s monthly scorecards are the gold standard and simply must be a built-in part of the day-to-day operations. They offer that programs targeting training or high-level talk of safety from corporate are not the only tools that should be relied upon, when the “racking and stacking” of managers and their bosses each month is what grabs employee’s attention and keeps the focus where it should be.

So how do you measure, and what, exactly, will be measured? Determining what’s going to be best for your restaurant or food service facility relies on these two issues. Ideally, what you want is to measure both the hard-data results of safety incidents as well as the more difficult to pin down: how good is your facility at preventing accidents and incidents.

For the right combination of safety performance measurement and metrics, you must engage in a two-fold measurement objective to review both the lagging and the leading indicators.

Lagging indicators measure a company’s incidents in the form of past accident statistics. You will begin by examining the data-driven records of your organization, which can include:

  • Injury frequency and severity
  • Lost Workdays as a Result of Job-Related Injury
  • Worker’s Compensation Costs on an annual basis
  • OSHA-Recordable Injuries

But you cannot only look at lagging indicators; because you will be missing an equally important metric in how well or how poorly your company is doing at preventing incidents and accidents.

Leading indicators indicate a future event and are used to drive and measure those proactive activities carried out to prevent and control injury.Examples of leading indicators are safety training, reduction of MSD risk factors, employee perception surveys and safety audits. They are primarily focused on future safety performance while they strive for real-time, continuous improvement.

Leading Indicators Will Help You:

  • Recognize Small Improvements in Performance
  • Accentuate the Positive: What Are Employees Doing Well or Failing to Do?
  • Enable Frequent Feedback To All Stakeholders
  • Be Credible To Performers
  • Be Predictive
  • Increase Constructive Problem Solving Around Safety
  • Clearly Communicate What Needs to be Done to Improve


Again, no one formula for safety measurement is a panacea, there is no cookie-cutter way to just plug into your organization and have it work well. You have to design something customized to all the variables of your particular restaurant and create a methodology that fits you perfectly.

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