Prevent Injuries and Reduce Costs with Trend Analysis

Prevent Injuries and Reduce Costs with Trend Analysis

This is part of our series designed for busy business and HR leaders responsible for managing safety programs.

Reducing the potential for injury to your employees, visitors and customers is the underlining goal of any safety program.  And you are well on your way to doing just that.  You have compiled your incident records and have completed accident investigations looking for root causes. Now what? You have this great data that could inform your goals and priorities for improving safety. Where to start? The details will vary slightly based on your operation, but the basics are the same.

Start with some questions.

Accident analysis starts with grouping like incidents together to find a pattern using a simple spreadsheet. Be sure to include your near misses. Ask yourself some questions to identify broad categories:

  • What is the nature of the injury?
  • What part of the body was involved?
  • What type of accident?
  • What equipment was involved?
  • Location?
  • Lost Work Day Case?
  • Department or shift?
  • Day of the week?
  • Time of the day?
  • How many times has it happened?
  • Claim Costs?

Consider this example accident log.

Type of Accident Shift Claim Costs Department Location
Slip Day  1,289 Custodial Building A
Foreign Body in the Eye Night  2,123 Maintenance Building B
Slip Day  4,902 Accounting Building A
Hand Laceration Day  1,109 Maintenance Building B
Back Sprain Day 0 Maintenance Building B
Slip Day 0 Sales Building A
Near Miss Slip Day 0 Breakroom Building A
Slip Slip  1,356 Custodial Building A
Hand Laceration Day 0 Maintenance Building B


Type of Accident Count Total Claim Cost
Slips 5  7,547
Foreign Body in the Eye 1  2,123
Hand Laceration 2  1,109
Sprain 1 0

Identify patterns in your incident data.

What trends jump out to you?

Slips are a significant cost driver and occur with the greatest frequency. Employees from multiple departments are slipping, but they are all occurring in the same building.

You should look at what is causing the slips by reviewing your accident investigations. If they are occurring just inside the doors when the weather is bad, then you could consider adding walk-off mats, or change the type of flooring. Perhaps you decide to prioritize these expenditures to prevent future slips. Maybe you find water leaks that are causing slip hazards and have them repaired.

We can also see a clear trend in Building B with incidents involving Maintenance staff. You might invest in appropriate personal protective equipment, (PPE), as injuries like hand lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye can be prevented with good PPE.

Look at your accident investigations. The root causes you identified for each individual incident will help you discover trends in your safety data.

By investing time in analyzing trends and making appropriate adjustments, you can create a safety culture that positively impacts the organization. By taking a proactive approach, you can take control and better manage the costs of addressing safety challenges. You have the potential to prevent your employees from getting injured, and to save money and protect your company’s reputation, all while avoiding potential for negative press.

We hope this example of identifying patterns helps you to focus your resources where they will do the most good.

Yours in success,


Rebecca Wale

Chief Safety Consultant

Rebecca is the Chief Safety Consultant of Integrated Success HR Consulting & Coaching, LLC. She has extensive credentials and experience as an Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management professional and leader across a variety of industries.  Her background in for-profit, non-profit and governmental organizations, and as a former OSHA compliance officer, means Rebecca knows how to design cost-effective programs that really work. Rebecca’s passion is translating her vast experience into straight-forward programs for busy leaders.