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RR734 - Leading indicators for assessing reduction in risk of long latency diseases

The HSE need meaningful 'leading indicators' that provide a real-time measure of progress in reducing long latency occupational disease. This report provides a review of potential leading indicators for long latency occupational disease. The work involved a literature review and 49 stakeholder interviews. The understanding of leading indicators was mixed. Many stakeholder respondents, including some insurers, brokers, firms and health and safety institutes were unaware of the term or of examples of leading indicators, whilst industries working with silica (mines, quarries) and chemicals (oil, gas and chemicals); and certain overseas regulators, had well developed thinking and tools. The review identified a range of indicators covering Occupational Health Management Systems, Key Performance Indicators, implementation of workplace risk controls and worker surveys of awareness, attitudes and behaviours that could be implemented in existing HSE and industry tools. The review identified little work on the predictive validity of leading indicators for assessing the reduction in long latency diseases but suggested approaches to further develop this, including the use of expert judgement.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-01-27