Health & Safety  >  Behavioral Observation

Behavioral Observation

Observe, record, and rectify unsafe behavior to improve workplace safety by building a culture of safety and encouraging Total Employee Involvement (TEI)

behavioral observation

behavioral observation

What is Behavior Observation?

Enable continuous improvement of safety performance by eliminating risky behaviors through behavioral observation, risk identification and mitigation, and establishing a culture of safety.

Behavioral observation is the systematic approach to minimizing incidents and improving workplace safety by collecting reliable and valid data on worker behavior and the factors that control it. Behavioral observations are an opportunity to deliver positive and constructive feedback structured around observations of a particular behavior or a set of behaviors, facilitating organization-wide learning.

Behavioral observation works on Heinrich’s law of safety which states that the number of accidents and their severity are inversely proportional. As a result, by minimizing the number of minor incidents, the number of major accidents can also be reduced. This makes behavioral observation critical for the continuous improvement of the safety management program of the organization.

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What are the benefits of Behavior Observation?

The effective implementation of safety observations offers the following benefits:

  • Provides feedback on the effectiveness of the safety program
  • Improves brand image and employee loyalty and engagement
  • Sets a baseline for setting improvement goals
  • Facilitates observing and discussing safe behavior

Besides improving productivity, behavioral observation can help establish a positive, safe work environment by inculcating a culture that promotes teamwork and taking ownership of actions by employees. Some of the other benefits of behavioral observations include:

  • Provides a baseline to set improvement goals
  • Improves safety practices of the observers and the observed
  • Increases situation awareness
  • Creates a forum for recognition of positive behaviors
behavioral observation benifits
behavioral observation principles

What are the principles of Behavior Observation?

Behavioral observation can be implemented across industries such as marine, retail, construction, manufacturing, and healthcare.

The best practices of behavioral observation include:

  • Defining clear, realistic, and achievable goals
  • Starting with one department or section of the organization
  • Expanding the observation radius to other companies to get an idea of their experiences
  • Improving internal communication to get better results
  • Increasing employee involvement and participation
  • Following standardized language and terms to reach the employees better
  • Identifying the root cause of errors and accidents
  • Emphasizing safety as a core value
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Applications of Behavioral Based Safety Process

How does Behavior Observation work?

A successful observation program involves employees conducting observations on each other. However, the safety leader is required to complete the behavioral observation process. The leader should be involved right from the design stage and provide continuous feedback on the program’s success. During the process of behavioral observation, the leader will also be responsible for any environmental or procedural changes that result from observations as employees do not have the authority to carry out, for example, hazard removal.

how does behavioral observation work
safety observations case study


Promoting a Positive Safety Culture Through BBS and Safety Observations

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How to successfully implement Behavior Observation?

  • Prioritize top management’s involvement in propagating safety as a value as pertinent to the organization

  • Create a committee to oversee and drive the observation initiative

  • Include behavioral observation as part of the safety culture

  • Communicate consistently with employees to create a sense of inclusivity

  • Train employees on various safety skills, observation skills, and coaching skills

  • Emphasize the need for observation and feedback process to improve safety standards

  • Keep the observation list concise and easy to read for future reference

  • Make positive reinforcements to build employee morale and participation

  • Offer rewards and incentives for the upkeep of safety standards

Outstanding execution and solution coverage

We implemented this software where I work and have been overall happy with the outcome. After taking a day or two workings to learn the software, you’ll never want to go back to your old ways! There’s also a huge library of training videos provided with the subscription, and an easy to use ticket portal. Moving to CQ HSE was worth the effort and will pay for itself within the year, but what really matters is that we have a fully functional HSE software that can grow and evolve with the business. The mobile features and real-time data capture provides great accessibility to the HSE program for all levels of staff.

Andre Perrault,
Manager, Health Safety & Environment

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Altex Energy logo
behavioral observation strategies

CQ Strategies For Behavioral Observation

Centralize all incident data, near misses, safety observations, and investigations for implementing agile corrective actions with ComplianceQuest’s Health and Safety Incident Management Solution. Instilling an enterprise-wide safety culture can reduce the cost of compensation, improve employee productivity and morale, enhance brand reputation, and increase regulatory compliance with the ComplianceQuest Health and Safety Incident Management solution. The search feature is “global by design”, making it easy for health and safety leaders to find anything related to specific injuries, incidents, or illnesses from the past and use this to plan safety management and risk mitigation strategies based on data.

Analyze and Implement Behavioral Observation in your organization with ComplianceQuest Health and Safety Incident Management Solution

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Quality-centric Companies Rely on CQ QMS

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Frequently Asked Questions

    • Empower employees to report incidents or near-misses to proactively reduce the number of incidents.

    • Spot trends and patterns and use predictive analytics to decipher which injuries or safety hazards are likely to recur. Mitigate risks in time using a solution that is designed for data visibility, traceability, and accountability of safety actions.

    • Take preventive measures with a “system of collaboration”, helping various teams and key stakeholders collaborate and work together. Allows for positive reinforcement, wherein a successful safety action taken is appreciated and noted for future reference.

    • Produce OSHA 300, 300A, or 301 incident forms electronically with just a few clicks. As regulations become increasingly complex and expansive, more companies move into the OSHA severe violator category each year. The social cost of injuries is profound, the loss of productivity is difficult to quantify, and compensation costs are estimated to be close to $1B in the US alone. CQ Health and Safety Incident Management drives efficiency in the process of regulatory compliance.

    • Put employees-first. ComplianceQuest’s Health and Safety Incident Management is designed for the entire organization with collaboration, analytics, dashboarding, and predictive intelligence features, all designed with this goal in mind.

    • CQ safety management software is aligned with all leading safety regulations and makes it easy to submit OSHA reports such as 300, 300A, and 301 incident forms electronically, thereby improving compliance.

    • Empower workers to report safety observations and near miss with tools to record, centrally story, and provide permiss-based access to capture trends and implement controls to prevent their becoming a full-blown event.

    • Incident reporting and management tool allows employees to report events and safety leaders to triage near misses and safety events from a streamlined point of entry.

    • A common employees and contractors portal offers an easy-to-use interface to complete safety tasks and improve compliance.

    • Injury and illness due to any incident can be easily tracked, managed, and reported from initial entry to completion.

    • Comprehensive reports can be created for all property, assets, and motor vehicles with their pictures in case of an event, with viability into the causes, costs, corrective actions, and trends available in one place.

    • Environmental hazards and spills can be tracked and monitored to stay compliant at all times.

    • Reports and dashboards can be generated in real-time anytime, on any device, and accessed from anywhere to analyze data and garner insights. The CQ software also allows drilling down and analysis of health and safety data by location or injury type.


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