A Conceptual Framework to Defining Leading Indicators to Measure Safety Management System Performance
Pera, Fabio
Murino, Teresa
Madonna, Marianna
Di Nardo, Mario
Bizzarro, Roberta

How to Cite

Pera F., Murino T., Madonna M., Di Nardo M., Bizzarro R., 2023, A Conceptual Framework to Defining Leading Indicators to Measure Safety Management System Performance, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 99, 439-444.


The measurement of health and safety management performance in organisations is a key step, as well as in any management process, as it provides information to identify the critical areas that require actions to achieve continuous improvement. Within the safety management system (SMS), the performance measurement is therefore associated with the check step in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. However, it is also in the planning phase that we need to think about what we will have to measure in order to be able to make decisions in key areas. Unfortunately, based on existing literature and standardisation, there is no unique checklist for measuring the performance of safety management systems. Although theorists and researchers have not yet found standard indicators for measuring the SMS performance, they seem to agree in classifying performance indicators into lagging and leading indicators. While lagging indicators measure the frequency of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occurred in the past, leading indicators provide information about safety and health activities by enabling organisations to implement preventive measures.
In this paper, the authors have proposed a conceptual framework for defining key indicators to measure safety performance. The objective is to design a structured path to identify indicators, among those existing in the literature and those widely used by experts, for each element of the SMS. The steps for using these indicators are also traced.