Health & Safety  >  Safety Observation

Safety Observation

safety observation
safety observation

What is Safety Observation?

Safety observation is a proactive approach to prevent workplace incidents by identifying potential hazards and at-risk behaviors including unsafe actions and conditions through systematic observation of the work environment and activities. The purpose is to utilize these observations to implement corrective action and improve the safety of the workplace. Managers record safety observations through checklists. The managers can have separate sections or checklists for each safety topic.

Safety observations are crucial to

  • Identify and control risk exposures
  • Reinforce safe behaviors
  • Drive a speak-up culture
  • Reduce employee injury/illnesses
  • Increase safety awareness
  • Drive continous monitoring and improvement
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How to do Safety Observation?

A safety inspection is a collection of one or more safety observations. Safety observation can be based on the individual occurrence of a condition, activity, behavior, or contextual attribute, including psychosocial factors such as stress, communication, or trust. A safety observation concludes with a risk determination of ‘acceptable’ or ‘opportunity for improvement.’ While the language used in safety observation could be different, the process of safety observation remains consistent.

safety observation - how to do?
To conduct safety observations, follow these steps:

  • Collect data on both positive and negative behavior or practice
  • Categorize observations
  • Assign corrective and preventive actions based on safety risks observed
  • Identify risk and inform management
While doing safety observation, one must

  • Collect data on both positive and negative behavior or practices
  • Conduct physical examination
  • Take note of all aspects of the environment
  • Interpret and analyze the findings
To ensure that the safety observation data is relevant, here are six best practices

  • Prepare for safety observation by having a clear understanding of the company’s current Job Hazard Assessement(JHA) and Standard Operation Procedure (SOP)
  • Collect as much safety data as possible as it helps improve data accuracy, make informed decisions, and offers better insight into future events
  • Include both positive and negative safety observations as it helps understand the areas that need improvement better
  • To make the safety observation report readable, follow a simple observation form that includes the various parameters such as time, date, place, task, and remarks column
  • Make employees and managers feel included and improve employee morale by sharing insights and findings with the teams
  • Track the safety improvements implemented to ensure the workplace is safe at all times
5 key principles behavioural safety

Five Key Principles of Behavioral Based Safety Process

When is Safety Observation recommended?

The primary objectives of safety observations are to

  • Increase awareness of hazards and exposures
  • Mitigate the risk of injuries by reinforcing positive work practices and procedures
  • Proactively addressing at-risk hazards

To that end, safety observations must be conducted at regular intervals. They help employees understand the importance of safety while emphasizing the organization’s commitment to creating a safe work environment. Frequent safety observations help collect enough data about the safety standards in the organization to make informed decision. The frequency also helps employees understand the importance of such observations and instil a sense of trust and safety at the workplace. Safety observation is recommended for various industries such as oil and gas, automotive, utilities, construction, and manufacturing.

when safety observation recommended

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Promoting a Positive Safety Culture Through BBS and Safety Observations

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What is a Safety Observation Report?

Safety observation must be performed and documented regularly to ensure that the workplace is safe. An effective safety observation report must include citations related to both the working conditions of the office or shop floor and the actions of the employees. Considering the actions of employees is pertinent to the safety of the workplace as the worker’s reaction to a specific safe or unsafe condition can help improve or deteriorate the safety standards. Safety officers use a safety observation report to document hazards and safety recommendations at the workplace. The safety observation report helps

What are the steps involved in Safety Investigation?

Safety investigation is conducted to prevent accidents in a work environment. Safety managers must conduct an effective safety investigation periodically to ensure the safety standards are met to avoid penalties and prevent accidents.

Here are the steps that safety managers must follow while conducting a safety investigation:

  • Gather relevant information about the safety standards in the workplace

  • Establish facts through photographs, physical evidence, training records

  • Isolate and categorize contributing factors based on environment, design, system, and human behavior

  • Investigate for possible causes that could lead to safety irregularities

  • Determine if corrective actions are necessary and establish them

  • Implement corrective actions and monitor their efficacy

  • Gather relevant information about the safety standards in the workplace

  • Establish facts through photographs, physical evidence, training records

  • Isolate and categorize contributing factors based on environment, design, system, and human behavior

  • Investigate for possible causes that could lead to safety irregularities

  • Determine if corrective actions are necessary and establish them

  • Implement corrective actions and monitor their efficacy

ComplianceQuest and Salesforce
– a winning combination

ComplianceQuest pairs the user-friendly tools of SalesForce with a very capable and responsive development / support team resulting in a full QMS application that was adapted to our processes and very easy to implement. Our large, global organization is not an easy group to please. From their patient participation in our configuration workshops to their quick responses to every email and crazy request, the CQ team has proven to be a true partner in our implementation. Their website and demos show how user-friendly and well integrated the modules are. The REAL win is getting this functionality with a team who is truly invested and has gone over and above to make our implementation a success!

Melanie Lees,
Quality Director

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Make Effective Safety Observation With ComplianceQuest

The cloud-based, scalable, and AI-powered EHS Solution from ComplianceQuest, built on, is a robust and scalable system that provides all the features needed to empower employees and improve organizational health and safety. With Health & safety gaining heightened significance in the current circumstances and with the health & safety heads having to manage remotely, the ComplianceQuest H&S management solution enables seamless management of the organization’s complete H&S program through a range of intuitively integrated tools and applications.

Some of the features of the solution include:

  • Safety event reporting

    Promote safety culture by ensuring workers have easy access to report injuries, accidents, or near misses that could affect safety on the worksite. Reports can be addressed to manage the risk, ensure an effective response, and if required, be reported directly to the regulatory agency.

  • CAPA

    Full action lifecycle to investigate and address unwanted events, hazards and to facilitate change management. Assign to the right people, monitor the workflow, and provide full visibility as the process moves through verification of effectiveness.

  • Worksite inspection

    Define the schedule, checklists, and assess the type and level of safe activity for all or specific locations. Keep inspections seamless, consistent, timely, and mobile on any device and allow managers to assign actions to unwanted findings – all within one record for easy tracking and trend analysis.

  • Safety observations

    Provide workers a means to engage in the Safety Culture and to report the positive or negative observations. Safety managers can use the data for trending or assign investigations and actions depending on what is required. Excellent for lessons learned postings to the workforce.

  • Compliance management

    Our compliance management module is managed by Enhesa – the world’s largest provider of EHS regulatory requirements. What’s also on offer is that our solution offers the capability of undertaking a regulatory applicability analysis for a particular geography/operation.

  • Stakeholder management

    With the ComplianceQuest H&S management solution, one will be able to manage all stakeholders, ensuring that their needs are being fulfilled. Not just that, ensuring their participation and involvement in identifying H&S risks, the root cause for any incidents is also part of the H&S solution offered by CQ.

  • Risk management

    Through our indigenously developed risk management module, organizations will be able to maintain hazards, assign risk owners, classify risks, categorize risks, and alter the risk level based on the effectiveness of the control measure.

  • Stop work authority

    Create and record the information for Toolbox Talks, share the information and receive the electronic signature of attendees from their mobile.

  • Toolbox talks

    Record a Stop Work Order and manage the risk to return to operations.

  • Safety notifications and collaboration

    Improve Health and Safety communication and transparency. Like and follow relevant records in the system and decide how and when to be notified of changes.

  • Analytics and dashboards

    The Health and Safety metrics of the workplace are readily for improved decision-making and oversight. Know the risks, know what is been done about them; and prove it.

A cloud-based, AI-powered EHS solution from ComplianceQuest helps with safety observation practices to create awareness of hazards and exposures, mitigate risks, and reinforce positive work practices and procedures by proactively addressing risk hazards

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Quality-centric Companies Rely on CQ QMS

  • affinivax mono
  • verily mono
  • 3m logo mono
  • tupperware mono
  • continental logo mono
  • vyaire mono
  • lifescan mono
  • lundbeck mono
  • cdc logo mono
  • qlik mono
  • csa group mono
  • impossible mono
  • fluence mono

Frequently Asked Questions

  • By instilling an enterprise-wide safety culture companies can reduce the cost of compensation, improve employee productivity and morale, enhance brand reputation and increase regulatory compliance.

    • By reporting near misses and observations of good and bad incidents, they contribute proactively to creating a healthy and safe workplace and increase their well-being.

    • Health and safety approach aimed at promoting employee well-being will have a positive impact on brand perception in the market, which will contribute to the growth.

    • A proactive approach to employee well-being will lead to huge cost savings and accelerate growth.

  • Health and Safety Team can use CQ EHS Software as it is mobile-friendly, saves time, and comes with dashboards for quick insights.

    Executives can use CQ EHS software for risk mitigation, reduces incidents, and the resultant worker compensation and claims. Dashboards help management have a finger on the pulse of all health and safety-related metrics.

    Employees can use the software to report incidents, near-misses, and observations and track progress on actions taken.

  • Some of the key technologies that can help businesses achieve their health & safety goals include:

    • The role of data is much talked about today in the context of informed decision making for formulating strategies across business processes. Data analytics plays a vital role in safety management as well. Some of the key ways in which data can help businesses improve safety include identifying risks, prioritizing them based on the severity, and historical data to identify trends.

    • The data in combination with AI/ML capabilities can enable businesses to predict future events and prevent their occurrence. It can help understand the cause and effect of changes on the health and safety of employees and processes, identify the root cause of problems as well as effect continuous improvement.

    • Leveraging cloud, a next-gen safety management system can facilitate reporting of events even from remote locations, anytime.Visibility into the incident management workflow and sharing of corrective action taken reassures employees of organizational commitment to their health and safety and encourages them to be more participative.

    • Safety leaders can now collaborate with teams across geographies and with suppliers for bi-directional communication, workflows and alerts, that facilitates identifying issues sooner and easily escalating when necessary. It provides a 360-degree view of enterprise-wide processes and improves compliance and continuous improvement. Sharing of information, updates, and announcements across the organization becomes easier.

    • It is critical for a safety management system to be designed with the end-user in mind. The safety leaders need the information of incidents that can be highlighted as an example of good safety behavior, and a safety management solution that enables this will go a long way in improving safety parameters more than mere reporting of unpleasant events and near misses.


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