This program seeks to understand and track the factors that affect safety with the goal of measuring what we value the most — the safety, health, and well-being of KYTC employees. With funding from FHWA, KYTC, and NCHRP, the program has performed research on safety metrics, safety culture, and safety management systems. Researchers have collaborated with KYTC to evaluate the safety culture within maintenance crews, developed a pre-task safety briefing tool, and created a safety metrics scorecard to capture the level of safety leading indicator performance.

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Featured Project: Development, Implementation, and Tracking of Preventative Safety Metrics 

The primary metric used to assess employee health and safety at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is the OSHA recordable incident rate, which measures how often a Cabinet employee sustains an injury that demands more than basic first aid. Although this is a useful metric to understand how often injuries occur, it cannot help with managing the safety, health, and well-being of KYTC staff. To provide a more programmatic approach, KTC identified a comprehensive list of safety leading indicators that could be applied by the agency and implemented measurement protocols to evaluate their performance. The five major dimensions of an effective safety program are management leadership and commitment, employee engagement, training and competence, hazard identification and control, and evaluation and improvement. Considering each dimension, researchers developed a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel workbook for a safety metric scorecard. The pilot study found that the safety metrics performed well and that maintenance crews can use the safety scorecard to predict areas in their safety programs needing improvement. KYTC would benefit from identifying more opportunities to involve staff in the safety program, such as the establishment of empowered safety committees, involving staff in developing safety policies and procedures, and increasing participation in hazard control practices. Click here to read the full report

Research in Progress


  • Specialized Safety Training and Tracking for KYTC Construction and Maintenance Personnel
  • Evaluating the Use of a Near Miss Reporting Program to Enhance Employee Safety Performance
  • NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/53-02: Practices to Motivate Safe Behaviors with Highway Construction and Maintenance Crews

Occupational Safety & Health Faculty & Staff

Gabriel Dadi

Program Manager/Research Professor



Hala Nassereddine

Research Professor



Completed Projects

  • Safety Concepts for Workers from OSHA Perspective
  • Development, Implementation, and Tracking of Preventative Safety Metrics
  • Evaluating the Safety Culture in KYTC Maintenance Crews
  • NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/52-09: Use of Safety Management Systems in Managing Highway Maintenance Worker Safety