Effective safety observation is key to protecting employees and running a safe business. But with so many different safety observation cards on the market, which one should you choose? Do you stick with a paper-based process or go digital? In this blog post, we’ll cover the benefits of a safety observation system and some key points to help you choose the best safety observation card.
What is a Safety Observation Card?
You may actually know it simply as a safety observation report. Safety observations are typically part of a behavior-based safety program. This kind of safety program uses observation reports to mitigate risk by correcting unsafe behaviors or workplace hazards. At its core, your safety observation card may have a checklist to guide managers through the observations to collect. But, it’s also important to have space for the number and details on both unsafe and safe conditions and actions. It is actually essential to leave room for positive observations. This creates an opportunity to recognize employees for their efforts to adhere to safety regulations and maintain a safe work environment. Also, positive observations help you document best practices that you can share with other departments or your other business locations.
Best Safety Observation Card Features
Whether you go with a template or create your own safety observation form, there are some key things to include.
- Critical Items – Hazards or behaviors that need immediate attention.
- Areas for Improvement – Possible safety rules that aren’t followed perfectly, such as PPE (personal protective equipment) being worn but not to regulation standards.
- Safety Acknowledgments – Positive observations and best practices you want to recognize.
- Categorization of Observations – This helps with reporting and implementing corrective measures. Common categories are PPE, fire safety, electrical hazards, proper storage, equipment, environmental conditions, lighting, and accessibility.
- Detailed Descriptions – The more details, the better as it helps you plan corrective action. Photos or videos are a great support in this space.
- Corrective Action Suggestions – If your manager or employees have suggestions for the best corrective measure, they can include them here.
How to Improve Your Safety Observation Reports
Many businesses still work with pen and paper for their safety observation cards. While you may be able to get by, a paper-based process will have many limitations. One is the inability to easily update or change your form. An excellent way to improve your safety observation reports is to create your own form. Or, you can do this by starting with a template and customizing it as you discover the need. Safety is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Furthermore, every company will have different areas to focus on based on their industry, equipment, and safety regulations. With Redlist’s Health Safety & Environmental (HSE) app, you can create a digital safety observation form. Then, any time you want to make a change or add to it, the changes are published automatically to your entire safety team.
Also, a digital safety solution streamlines the observation process. You can provide managers with a digital checklist, and they can quickly complete the form on a mobile device. Additionally, it saves a ton of time on the submission of your safety observation cards. To get the most out of safety observations, your safety managers should collect photo and video evidence. However, doing that with a paper form means someone has some data entry to do, as well as organizing and attaching the appropriate multimedia support. The best safety observation card allows your team to go through the checklist, easily include photos and videos, and submit without duplicate data entry.
What are the Benefits of Using a Safety Observation Card System in the Workplace?
Safety observations can support you whether you’re noticing an upward trend in accidents or incidents or even if you just want to stay on top of your safety record. The benefits of regular safety observation include:
- Earlier identification of dangerous behavior or hazards
- Risk mitigation through hazard controls
- Reward or reinforce safety best practices
- Reduce safety accidents, incidents, and near misses
- Increase overall awareness and safety culture
- Foster a positive environment for employees to observe and report safety issues
- Collect safety data to drive root cause analysis
How to Use Redlist for Safety Observations
Redlist’s HSE software is a cloud-based mobile app that allows you to simplify and streamline every aspect of your safety operations. From easy-to-use digital forms to checklists and reporting, you and your employees will find it easier to create and maintain a safe workplace.