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Four Takeaways from our Roundtable with Google and Lee Kennedy on Measuring & Learning from SIF Exposures

Last week, safety professionals from around the world joined us for a webinar discussing the ways construction safety professionals can improve safety outcomes by measuring and tracking SIF exposures. Long considered the industry standard, Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR)—a measure of the frequency of all recordable incidents—doesn’t adequately account for the full spectrum of safety risk. 

The lack of correlation between recordable rate reduction and fatal injury reduction over the last 3 decades is why Highwire and our partners are championing a shift toward a standardized method of evaluating all incidents with SIF potential. 

The roundtable featured Jason Edic, Vice President of Risk Management at Lee Kennedy, Steve LaRussa, Construction EHS Manager at Google, and David Tibbetts, Highwire’s Chief Safety Officer. They are all members of Highwire’s SIF Working Group, which includes safety leaders from asset owners and general contractors who use the Highwire platform.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

1. Recordable rate alone should not be relied upon.

While experts agree that there is value in tracking recordable rates, it is not a metric that provides an accurate picture of overall risk and contractor performance.

2. Analyzing recordable rate alone does not prevent SIFs.

Many recordable injuries do not involve circumstances or exposures with the potential to result in a serious injury or fatality. All recordable injuries should be investigated but additional focus on tracking and learning from injuries, near misses, and exposures with SIF potential can provide tremendous value.

3. A look at some data-driven insights for monitoring risk:

Data from the Highwire platform offers some useful insight into expanded sources for tracking risk.Across 6 example clients analyzed, Highwire found that 651 recordable cases were reported. A random sample of 100 of those recordable cases revealed that 11% involved circumstances and exposures with SIF potential. If we extend that to all 651 cases, we might anticipate that somewhere between 60 and 80 cases had SIF potential.

During the same time frame, across the same 6 clients, there were 608 inspection observations classified as immediately dangerous to life or health or IDLH. That inspection data revealed seven times more observations with SIF potential than recordable cases with SIF potential.

Lastly, there were over 3,600 high-risk observations made in high-risk categories. Surely, some percentage of those unsafe conditions or behaviors classified as high risk had SIF potential.

Finally, across all Highwire clients conducting inspections in the platform, there have been 877 IDLH observations and over 12,500 high-risk findings in high-risk categories. The data set grows exponentially when we focus on ALL incidents, near misses, AND observations with SIF potential. Our opportunity to learn and drive continuous improvement ultimately grows exponentially along with the data set.


David Tibbetts asks the panel what they think about labeling the cause of events with SIF potential as “personal choice or low readiness.”

4. A look at Highwire’s upcoming SIF tracking features:

The feature breaks down “Total SIF Exposure” as measured by incidents that resulted in a SIF (SIF-actuals); recordable and first aid-only incidents with SIF potential; near misses with SIF potential; and observations of exposures with SIF potential. 

Access the webinar on-demand

Organizations should continue to track their recordable rate and aim to reduce the frequency of all injuries. Asset owners, general contractors, construction managers, and trade contractors should begin to prioritize monitoring SIF exposures to truly understand performance and risk and to identify opportunities for improvement. With an industry-wide focus on reducing the number of incidents, near misses, and exposures with SIF potential, we can begin to reduce the number and rate of serious injuries and fatalities. 

To download a recording of the Shift to SIFs: Measuring & Learning from SIF Exposures webinar, visit: 

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