What is a Safety Observation Report?
A safety observation report is a tool used by safety officers to document hazards as well as safety commendations in the workplace. It is a comprehensive report that includes photo evidence and detailed descriptions of key safety observations. Performing and documenting regular safety observations can ensure a safe workplace as well as share best practices with other teams.
This article will briefly discuss 1) the important elements to check for an effective safety observation report; 2) how to complete a safety observation report; and 3) the three best safety observation report templates you can download and use for free.
Click here to download the top 3 best safety observation report templates.
What Should you be Observing During a Safety Observation Report?
Observe common working areas, equipment and procedures which can affect employee health and safety. Different workplace industries require different key areas of focus when it comes to safety. However, here are the important categories to inspect when performing a safety observation report for any given workplace:
1. Common Working Areas
These are areas where workers spend most of their time either working or passing through. A safe and tidy working area can minimize the risk of employee injury, health hazards and productivity loss.
What to check: lighting, accessibility, temperature, humidity, dry floor/ even pavement, no sharp edges of work tables or chairs, appropriate work tools and ergonomics.
2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is used to protect employees from physical harm. Not wearing or wearing damaged equipment may lead to serious injury.
What to check: availability, condition and appropriateness of PPEs, damage, ratio of employees vs available PPE and training.
3. Fire Safety Equipment and Procedures
Safety equipment and procedures must be available and accessible at all times to employees in case of fire-related emergencies.
What to check: fire extinguishers, evacuation posters, fire drills, first aid kits, emergency lighting, sprinklers, fire alarms and emergency exits.
4. Electrical Hazards
Faulty and messy wiring can cause trip hazards, fire, electrocution and property damage.
What to check: wiring, outlet locations, extension cords and electric equipment.
5. Proper Storage
Proper storage of documents, materials and equipment can minimize trip hazards and injuries from manual handling.
What to check: tidiness, appropriate signage, proper location storage and ergonomic manual handling.
How to Complete a Safety Observation Report?
Begin your safety observation by critically examining key areas of your workplace (examples above) and identify them according to the following:
Identify what is being done correctly in terms of safety. These observations should be based on best practices, encouraged and shared with other teams.
Opportunity for Improvement
Identify observations that could benefit from best practices or safety ideas you may have. These items do not pose an immediate safety risk but could be improved to further defences or improve processes and communication.
Identify areas which pose risk of injury or harm to workers. These items should be addressed immediately and communicated directly to the office manager and relevant teams.
Include a brief description of the safety observation and photo evidence with a detailed caption. A summary of recommendations and needed corrective measures are also included in the report to address all areas important to health and safety. Click here to preview a sample completed report.
What is iAuditor and how can I use it for Safety Observation Reporting?
iAuditor is the world’s #1 mobile inspection app and can help streamline your inspections. No need for multiple devices and applications to capture photos and create a detailed report. Conduct your safety observations using a hand-held device and generate a final PDF report without leaving the site. Capture photos, add detailed notes and assign corrective measures in a few taps.
To save you time we have created these three safety observation report templates which cover general, construction and warehouse industries. Download and customize them for free:
Top 3 Safety Observation Reports
The general safety observation report can be used for general building and office environments. Key areas critical to health and safety are included here such as work environment, electrical hazards, fire safety and equipment etc. Use this template by following the points below:
- Document your safety observations across the relevant sections of Safety Mentions, Opportunity for Improvement or Critical Items
- Select category an item belongs to (Accessibility, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Fire Safety Equipment & Procedures, Lighting, etc.)
- Provide detailed description of the safety observation and take photo evidence
- Set and assign corrective measure
- Leave your digital signature
Use this construction safety observation report when conducting a safety inspection of a construction site. Identify common construction safety hazards (i.e. PPE, slips and falls, working at heights) as well as safety mentions.
Use this warehouse safety observation report when conducting a safety inspection of a warehouse, factory or manufacturing facility. Identify common warehouse safety hazards (i.e. forklifts, docks & conveyors, manual handling, racking and shelving). Call out safety mentions, opportunities for improvement and critical items.