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Safety Performance Management

Effective Performance Management

Contract owners must determine how they will monitor the safety of contracted work. This involves:

  • Establishing what success looks like during the planning stage
  • Monitoring work while it is being done to assess performance levels
  • Throughout the work’s life cycle, monitoring objectives, targets, and key performance indicators that were documented during the planning stage to identify any deviations

The following actions will be required at the various stages of contracted work to effectively manage H&S performance:

  • Set safety expectations
  • Implement and execute expectations
  • Monitor work to ensure that expectations are being met
  • Respond to performance
  • Review performance

Reviewing the information below and completing the Objectives, Targets, and KPIs section of the Contractor Safe Work Plan may help with formally setting expectations for the contracted work.

Setting Performance Expectations

Contract owners must define what H&S success on the project means to them. By establishing an appropriate level of H&S performance, they can set an overall objective for the contracted work.

When establishing performance expectations, things to consider include:

  • Other stakeholder expectations
  • Regulatory expectations: what are the minimum requirements?
  • Previous performance of contractor, or similar work that has been done in the past
  • Airport Authority vision statement: what is expected of contractors, and how can these expectations be met?
  • Resource requirements: what resources are realistically available to manage the expectations (people, time, training, and so on)?
  • Risk assessment: what risks may exist, what controls are expected, and how will risk be managed?
  • Best practice: what would a realistic and ideal outcome be in relation to the health and safety of those impacted by the work?

H&S Objectives, Targets, and Key Performance Indicators

The contract owner incorporates the considerations listed above into the H&S objectives, targets, and key performance indicators to help define H&S success for the contracted work.


An objective is a clear, overarching goal that is set to focus work on achieving a set accomplishment—in this case, to define success for the work that is being done.

Examples of Objectives

    • Meet impending legal requirements prior to their enactment.
    • Reduce exposures to hazardous substances or processes.

Contract owners can set objectives by considering the contracted work and answering questions such as: What does successful completion of the work look like from an H&S point of view? How would it be defined for this work? What does it look like on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis?

Objectives and targets should be measurable and consistent with the following:

  • Contractor Safety Vision Statement
  • Any relevant Airport Authority H&S policies, including commitments to preventing injury and illness
  • Legal requirements and other organizational requirements

As part of objective setting, designate responsibility and authority for achieving objectives to different levels of the organization, and establish a means and time frame for achieving the objectives.


Targets are a series of smaller goals that, when completed, will help achieve the objective. The following are examples of targets for the objectives listed above.

Examples of Targets

    • Train workers on upcoming changes to regulations such as WHMIS 2015.
    • Introduce guarding or access controls to reduce hazardous substance exposure.

H&S objectives can be broken down into tasks based on the size of the organization, the complexity of the objective, and its timeline for completion. There should be clear links between the various levels of tasks and the H&S objectives.

When establishing and reviewing targets, determine if specific targets need to be set for any H&S requirements. Consider the following:

  • Technological options
  • Financial, operational, and business requirements
  • Views of relevant stakeholders

Targets should be SMART:

  • Specific: clear understanding of what is expected
  • Measurable: the target can be clearly tracked with data, and shown to be achieved
  • Achievable: given the existing resources, it is possible to achieve the target
  • Responsible: who will be responsible for managing and achieving the target
  • Timely: a timeline is in place that allows the target to be monitored and achieved

Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurements that identify activities to be carried out that may indicate that targets are likely to be met and objectives accomplished.

Leading indicators are proactive measures of performance that monitor conformance with H&S program and controls—for example, behaviour-based indicators such as quantifying safety violations over time for trends.

Examples of Leading KPIs

    • Number of inspections divided by hours in a work week or month
    • Number of near-misses recorded compared to inspections or hours
    • Toolbox talks divided by field-level hazard assessments
    • Reported hazards compared to the number of first aid incidents
    • Management site walks per week or per month
    • Number of corrective and preventive actions identified and closed out
    • Orientation and training sessions compared to employees/contractors
    • Safety meetings on track and completed as scheduled/planned
    • H&S guest speakers speaking to relevant hazards and controls on site
    • Percentage of company meetings starting with a minuted safety share
    • Healthy and safety perception surveys showing improved culture year on year
    • Number of audits completed annually as scheduled/planned

Lagging indicators are reactive measures of performance that monitor incidents and other evidence of deficient H&S performance—for example, looking at the occurrence of fewer incidents as a sign of a good safety system.

Examples of Lagging KPIs

    • Injury frequency rates, including LTI (lost-time injuries), MTI (medical treatment injuries), first aid, and similar
    • Near-miss rates
    • Injury-free days

For questions related to this content, please contact YVR Contractor Safety by email at [email protected] or by phone at 604-276-7797.

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