EHS Metrics laws & safety compliance analysis

EHS Metrics: What you need to know


In the classic sense, a metric is a standard of measurement. The decimal system of weights and measures is a metric. A metric can also be a measure of performance toward a goal; it can be used to quantify, measure, and track value in an organization. Total sales is a metric for revenue. In education, a key metric is student performance on standardized tests, which is then used to drive educational priorities to improve performance on any following round of tests.

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A good performance metric can provide an organization with valuable information to help improve efficiency, increase profitability, expand capacity or programs, or plan for future needs. Management and employee performance rewards are often based on performance metrics, which send a clear message to employees at all levels of the organization about where their efforts should be focused. Likewise, if something is not measured, it can be perceived to have low priority in an organization.


In environmental, health and safety (EHS), a metric is the measurable performance of an environmental or safety activity or program within an organization. Metrics can drive performance toward more efficient use of resources, improved compliance, profitability, and the general health and well-being of an organization and its workers. For example, an injury and illness tracking report can be used as a metric for employee productivity.

To be used in making business decisions, a metric must be consistent, comparable, credible, and relevant to the people using it. For example, the kilowatt-hour meets these metric criteria for electricity consumption and is widely used in business decisions related to energy use.

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