From February 2015 to February 2016, BHP Billiton with Michael Tooma and Alena Titterton conducted a global health and safety benchmarking study that surveyed eight leading organizations across the transport, aviation, manufacturing, mining and defence industries for best practice approaches to safety management. The team then conducted 'deep dive' interview activities to learn more from a number of those organizations where their approach was novel. This paper outlines the groundbreaking methodology used to conduct the study and lessons learnt from participant results.

What Is Peer Benchmarking?

In the context of this paper, peer benchmarking is a process in which an organisation compares its own health and safety performance to the performance of other organizations, either within their industry or beyond. The scope, nature and depth of the benchmarking exercise can vary, dependent upon the organization's objectives in completing the benchmarking exercise. In this paper we outline the specific methodology and approach adopted during the benchmarking study conducted by the authors for BHP Billiton.


The methodology involved in the benchmarking process included three key phases: scoping, benchmarking and then analysis and reporting. We set out the key aspects of the benchmarking below.

Phase 1: Scoping

The purpose of the scoping phase was to define the parameters of the benchmarking study and the methodology to be deployed. This was conducted using an evidence-based approach. We firstly reviewed relevant global academic literature in order to set the scope of the benchmarking analysis. Through review of the literature, we identified common themes that research has linked to effective health and safety management.

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