Measuring operational performance of OSH management systems

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Companies implementing an OSH management system based on international or national reference documents, such as the ILO-OSH 2001 Guidelines of the International Labour Organisation[1] or the upcoming standard ISO 45001[2], should continuously monitor their OSH performance, and evaluate the effectiveness of their OSH management systems. The effectiveness of the OSH management systems should be evaluated not only on the basis of outcome (lagging) indicators, such as the rate of work-related incidents, injuries and ill health, but also on frequent measurement of selected leading indicators, which are able to provide an up-to-date and concise picture of operational performance of OSH management processes. Examples of such leading indicators include: progress on meeting OSH policy commitments and respective objectives; percentage of workstations subject to periodic risk assessment; the effectiveness of operational controls and emergency exercises; proactive and reactive actions affecting the organization’s OSH performance; the level of employees’ and managers’ competence in the area of OSH management; etc.

In today’s companies a large volume of data relevant to OSH management processes is generated and stored in databases, paper documents and on mobile devices. Data is retrieved and processed by many employees and managers in various organizational departments where various processes, systems and applications are in use. The availability of this data supports effective OSH management, however multiplicity and diversity of data carriers, users and sources make it difficult for managers to identify the most crucial data, and make practical use of them.

KPI-OSH Tool concept and methodology

KPI-OSH Tool is an Excel VBA Macro-based application intended to support managers in measuring and monitoring performance of an OSH management system. The Tool is user-friendly, flexible, and can be easily tailored to the user’s needs and organizational structure. An initial screenshot of the KPI-OSH Tool is shown below.

Start screen KPI-OSH Tool.jpg

The purpose of the KPI-OSH Tool is to collect, process and transform data into accurate, complete, relevant and up-to-date information that could efficiently support OSH management decision-making and continuous improvement. The measurement methodology is based on the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assigned to core processes of an OSH management system according to the model adopted in draft ISO/DIS 45001 standard.

KPI-OSH Tool comprises 27 key leading indicators which have been selected through the use of the Analytic Hierarchic Process (AHP)[3] as the most relevant for individual components of the OSH management system. Other criteria applied for the selection included comprehensiveness, objectivity, measurability, and cost-efficiency. The list of all 27 selected KPIs divided into six main areas of the OSH management system is presented in the Table below.

Table with 27 KPIs.png

Four steps of operating the Tool

Defining the range of information needed to measure OSH management system performance

The KPI OSH Tool makes it possible to choose any number of KPIs out of 27 already predefined KPIs. The user may select and use all predefined KPIs to measure overall system performance of an OSH management system or can focus on specific system components where improvement is needed. The user can also easily create and add his or her own KPIs that best suit the company’s needs and stakeholders’ expectations.

Identification of data sources needed for KPIs

In the course of KPI selection a user can learn more about the data and processes needed to calculate respective KPI values by referring to the report with detailed KPI descriptions[4]. In this document each KPI is clearly defined, mathematical calculation formulae are given, and measurement frequencies and colour policies for KPI diagrams are suggested. The manual will also guide the user through the process of identifying relevant data sources within the company.

Data input

Each KPI implemented in the KPI OSH Tool can be easily tailored to the user’s needs. The user can decide on measurement frequency and colour policy of diagrams for each selected KPI. It is also possible to insert names of particular company departments in order to calculate and demonstrate respective sub-KPI values. The data for calculating selected KPIs are easily entered into the database via special Excel templates designated for each KPI.

Generating reports (data visualisation)

The KPI OSH Tool offers a range of diagram forms and reports to present current and past values of KPIs. Report configuration and generation takes a few seconds. The information on KPIs is presented on graphical diagrams generated in MS Word format. The diagrams with respective descriptions can be easily copied and pasted into PowerPoint presentations or other documents in order to present them to workers as well as to senior managers responsible for decision-making. Example diagrams generated by the Tool are presented below.

KPI diagrams.png

Benefits of using the information on KPIs generated by the Tool

  • Company managers will be able to evaluate performance of particular OSH processes and thus better allocate funds needed for OSH management.
  • Information generated by the KPI-OSH Tool can be used for trend analysis and comparison of OSH performance between various company departments.
  • Awareness of company’s weaknesses and strengths in OSH management will enable the managers to plan and undertake respective preventive and corrective actions to avoid negative occurrences.

Free KPI-OSH Tool download

As from 1 March 2017, the Tool will be available for free download and installation under the Resources section of the KPI-OSH Tool project webpage:

Permission to download and use the KPI-OSH Tool and its documentation is granted for research, educational, and not-for-profit purposes, without fee and without a signed licensing agreement.


The KPI-OSH Tool was developed within an international project: Development and validation of a KPI-based method and a user-friendly software tool for resilience-focused measurement of OSH management system performance[5], which was carried out in 2014-2015 by a consortium composed of three partners: CIOP-PIB (Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Poland)[6], FIOH (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland)[7] and Tecnalia Research & Innovation[8], Spain. 

The project was funded within the framework of SAF€RA Network[9] by CIOP-PIB, FIOH, the Finnish Ministry of Social and Health Affairs, and the Basque Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (OSALAN - Instituto Vasco de Seguridad y Salud Laborales)[10], Basque Country, Spain.

KPI-OSH Tool logos.jpg

Contact information

Daniel Podgórski:

Anna Skład:

Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB)

ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warsaw, Poland

References and related links

  1. ILO-OSH 2001. Guidelines on occupational safety and health management systems. International Labour Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, 2001.
  2. ISO/DIS 45001. Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements with guidance for use. ISO/PC 283: Occupational health and safety management systems, 2016.
  3. Podgórski D., 2015. Measuring operational performance of OSH management system – A demonstration of AHP-based selection of leading key performance indicators. Safety Science, 73(146-166)
  4. Descriptions of Key Performance Indicators proposed for the measurement of operational performance of OSH management systems. Preliminary results of KPI-OSH Tool project achieved within Task 2.1: Prioritisation of PPIs for OSH MS components. February 2015.
  5. KPI-OSH Tool project website:
  6. CIOP-PIB website:
  7. FIOH website:
  8. TECNALIA website:
  9. SAF€RA website:
  10. OSALAN website: