Indicators in Safety Management: A Cartography of Approaches and Applications
Proceedings of the Spring Meeting & 10th Global Congress on Process Safety
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Developing and implementing indicators for safety purposes in high risk industries are key topics in both academic and industrial communities. Still, one of the important debates that occupies a special place in those communities given this issue is the definition of a typology of indicators and, consequently, the how, why and when to use them. A remarkable set of indicators of the vitality of this debate were firstly the variety of terms and significations used to characterize indicators dedicated to safety: Process safety indicators, key performance indicators, risk based indicators, resilience based indicators, leading and lagging indicators, safety monitoring indicators, safety culture indicators…All those terms refer to various conceptions and understandings of objectives and uses associated with indicators regarding safety. A second indicator was the intense debate on how to distinguish leading form lagging indicators that still has not been resolved. Our reflection aims at providing both communities with an organized and understandable cartography of this variety of conceptions in order to help understanding the rationalities behind their emergence in one hand and the best uses and applications to be associated to each category on the other hand. This work’s aim is not to contest or criticize the variety of orientations and uses of safety related indicators in the community today; it is rather an attempt to help users exploit this variety in the best interest of safety.