So let’s say that safety is a huge priority for your organization, you have a great safety management system in place, and a low TRIR (Total Recordable Incidence Rate), but you are trying to go one step further towards your zero injuries goal. Therefore, you decide to start using a test to pre-screen your job applicants for safety risk before you hire them. It makes sense, but a year into it, you want to see if it actually helped prevent any injuries and decide whether it was worth the investment.
Well, that is exactly what one large company did recently, and the results were pretty interesting. This is a global provider of construction and maintenance services, employing about 20,000 crafts and maintenance workers all over the world. They had rolled out a 10-minute pre-screening test as part of their hiring process, and one of the major factors measured was safety. Three years after implementing it, they sent us safety incident metrics for a sample of the employees who had taken the test and been hired at 3 of their facilities during that timeframe. We looked up their test results and then matched those up to their incident data to see if the test was able to predict who would have a safety incident after they were hired and on the job.
So what did the results show? After controlling for factors such as job experience, we found that applicants with the lowest test scores were 3 times more likely to be involved in a safety incident than those with high scores (see graph below). The analysis also showed that by using the test as part of the hiring process, this organization was able to prevent 9 work-related injuries in just one year at 3 of their U.S. locations. Based on their cost estimates, this saved them over $110,000 in direct costs alone. In fact, if they were to roll this out globally, based on their hiring projections, this would likely prevent over 180 first aid injuries and over 30 recordable injuries per year. What would that mean in terms of cost? A savings of $2,740,000 per year! In terms of safety performance this could also lower their overall recordable injury rates by as much as 30%.
Clearly, the hiring process is a key area of opportunity for reducing injuries. As safety, HR, and operations leaders continue searching for new ways to reduce exposure and improve their company safety performance, this will likely be a new and effective tool they can use to help them get one step closer to zero injuries.