Research

Research is at the heart of what we do—discovering proven knowledge and practical methods to improve the environment, health and safety of our employees and communities. The Campbell Institute recognizes opportunities to advance the science of EHS through original research; learn about our current and past research by downloading our whitepapers.


Elevating EHS Leading Indicators: From Defining to Designing

Leading indicators continues to be a key area of interest in the field of environmental, health, and safety. As the next phase in this long-term ongoing study, EHS executives and experts from Campbell Institute Member organizations have shared a wealth of practical leading indicator information - focused on how to design, dig in, implement, and iterate world-class metrics programs. Taken together, these numerous years of mixed-method research, including expert workgroups, surveys, case studies, and quantitative and qualitative analysis, have led to the development of a practical guide and thought map of world-class EHS leading indicators, with lessons learned around defining, aligning, refining, and designing programs that truly work.

 

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Best Practices in Contractor Management

Large or small, organizations increasingly rely on contractors - to do everything from mail letters to build facilities. It's become ever more difficult to "get it right" in these complex relationships. Research conducted by the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council has revealed a simple but comprehensive lifecycle approach that can be used to manage all stages of contractor relationships, from pre-qualification, risk assessment, and training to on-job monitoring and post-job evaluation. Using a multi-method analysis of the best-of-the-best in EHS, this research not only outlines the principles all organizations need to consider - it looks critically at where organizations most often struggle and offers suggestions for process improvements.

 

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Practical Guide to Leading Indicators: Metrics, Case Studies & Strategies

Leading indicators continues to be a key area of interest in the field of environmental, health and safety (EHS). This report describes the second phase of a research project conducted by the Campbell Institute to advance the state of knowledge and practice regarding the use of leading indicators to improve EHS performance. Through group discussions and phone interviews with industry experts, the Campbell Institute constructed a matrix of key leading indicators, their definitions and associated metrics. The matrix represents a collaborative benchmarking effort on the part of Institute Member organizations to catalog of key leading indicators, which can be used as a guide for companies on their journey to safety excellence.

 

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Risk Perception: Theories, Strategies, And Next Steps

Understanding risk and how it is perceived is a crucial step toward creating programs and campaigns to raise awareness and make communities and workplaces safer. This Campbell Institute literature review looks at the current state of research in the area of risk taking and explores the reasons why individual take risks inside and outside the workplace. The paper summarizes the individual, community and broader societal factors that affect risk perception and tolerance, then delves into a presentation of several theories explaining risk perception. Examples of how Campbell Institute Member companies have put these theories and concepts into practice are highlighted throughout the paper.

 

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Defining EHS leadership in world class organizations

Since its inception, the Campbell Institute has had a focused interest in the role of leadership in building quality organizations with exemplary EHS performance. In fact, organizations applying for the Campbell Award must provide concrete evidence of sustained commitment to EHS excellence through leadership. In the spring of 2013, researchers at the Campbell Institute conducted qualitative interviews with past Campbell Award winners and Campbell Institute Charter Members. In short, this study found that leadership commitment and competence, trust and respect, and open communication generate internal motivation, worker empowerment, and voluntary participation. This results in a strong safety culture that can make the transition from being good to great.

 

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Transforming EHS performance measurement through leading indicators

Today, EHS practitioners continue to rely on injury rates, absenteeism, and other lagging metrics despite the growing acceptance of the fact that these failure-focused measures are ineffective in driving continuous improvement efforts. Leading indicators, on the other hand, appear to offer a more useful gauge of EHS activity by providing early warning signs of potential failure and, thus, enabling organizations to identify and correct deficiencies before they mature into accidents and injuries. Among other results, this research finds that management commitment, engagement, understanding, and support are essential to effective EHS performance measurement. 

 

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Defining world class EHS

 In the fall of 2012, members of the Campbell Institute Research & Knowledge subcommittee conducted a comparative analysis of the 10 Campbell Award-winning applications in order to determine best practices of leading organizations in EHS. The comparisons made are based on the structure of the original award criteria, including sections on leadership, integrated EHS management system, performance measurement, the linkage between EHS and business performance, and other factors, with a focus on corporate citizenship and off-the-job initiatives.

 

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Defining Off-the-Job EHS excellence

Off-the-job environmental, health and safety (OTJ EHS) generally refers to the conditions and practices that occur outside of the workplace and impact the health, safety and well-being of employees as well as their family members, communities, and the environment. Evidence suggests that successful implementation of OTJ EHS initiatives occurs even in the absence of formal policies concerning the issue. Although only 40% of the surveyed companies reported having written OTJ EHS policies, most of those who did said that the policies had a positive impact on the safety of employees and their family members, and findings indicate that most organizations have experienced an increasing level of employee engagement in OTJ EHS.

 

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