Performing safety observations are one of the easiest and most effective methods of checking the pulse of the safety culture in your organization. Through safety observations, you are able to observe and understand actual safety-related conditions and behaviors in your facility, and more importantly, do something about it. The results of your safety observations should lead to:
- a ‘Thank You’ (observing a safe behavior),
- a ‘Conversation’ (observing an unsafe behavior), or
- an ‘Action’ (observing an unsafe condition).
The OSHhub.com Quick Safety Observation template (.pdf format) provides a quick method to document a safety observation for entry into your facility’s safety tracking system. Note: The cards are pocket sized (approximately 3″x5″) and should be printed front and back. 4 cards are on each 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Download the Word format HERE.
Basis for Conducting Safety Observations
Carnegie Mellon recently did a study where they reviewed 112 Million Safety Observations from 15,000 worksites. From the review of the data, they were able to develop predictive models that were between 90-97% effective in predicting injuries. And it boiled down to 4 factors of influence. The 4 Safety Truths.
4 Safety Truths
- More inspections predict a safer worksite.
- More eyes increases safety.
- More inspectors, specifically outside of the safety function, predict a safer worksite.
- Getting everyone involved, increases safety.
- Too many 100% safe inspections predicts an unsafe worksite.
- You are flying blind.
- Encourage finding of “unsafes” to increase safety.
- Too many unsafe inspections predicts an unsafe worksite.
What Kind of Observer are You?
- Balanced – documents safe/unsafe behaviors & unsafe conditions, equally
- Pencil Whipper – documents only safe behaviors or conditions
- Non-Confronter – does not document behaviors, only conditions
- Fault Finder – does not document safe behaviors, only unsafe
- Non-Participant – does not document , i.e. “I’m too busy”