The 5 Ways To Improve Safety Reporting Rates

What strategies are you enforcing to improve an organisation's safety reporting? How do you handle, record, and share information on an incident? Nobody wants to experience any safety incidents, yet organisations must have a plan on how to communicate and react when an incident happens.

The reporting rate relates to the number of near misses, injuries, accidents, theft, damage to property, harassment, safety observations, and other observations per employee per year. Safety reporting provides valuable insights to organisations when developing safety programs.

This article looks at ways organisations can improve safety reporting rates to enhance workplace safety.

What Is Safety Reporting?

Safety reporting is an evidence-based methodology that assesses an organisation's safety programs' strengths and weaknesses. Safety reporting captures information on safety-related events from safety teams and compiles it into a readable format that gives insights to stakeholders.

Reporting rates can be analysed like accidents: per million work hours, per employee. A common way is to divide it into near-miss reporting rates, safety observation reporting rates, or even favourable safety observation reporting rates.


Why Is Safety Reporting Important?

Safety reporting provides evidence and documentation to initiate investigations and prevent any future incidence while cultivating safety support and culture in the organisation. Safety reporting goes beyond injury and incident reporting. A robust reporting program helps organisations identify, collect, compile, and analyse vital safety-related information to implement proactive changes in target areas.

The 5 Ways to Improve Safety Reporting 

Here are ways organisations enhance safety reporting to cultivate a safety culture and support in the work environment;


1.    Near Miss Reporting

Near-miss reporting forms a vital component of an effective reporting procedure. It is a simple system that employees anonymously use to report near misses or hazardous incidents. Organisations should not wait for accidents to happen. An easy reporting mechanism should exist before a potential hazard becomes a severe issue.

Near misses present an opportunity for organisations to learn and strengthen their safety programs. Near misses and incidences need to be investigated as actual losses for they attract costs. 


2.    Safety Observations

No matter how well you train your employees, you can never be sure if they can perform hands-on tasks until you observe them perform the roles correctly. It's only through safety observations that you can correct incorrect behaviour. Collect all observations, not just serious ones but also minor happenings and positive observations.

Because of the problems with incentivising the zero accidents goal, organisations have started to move more towards tracking observation reporting rates. The problem with observation tracking is that it does not consider the breadth of the safety culture. If only a portion of the workforce is involved in reporting, the observations might all look the same (e.g., only unsafe conditions but no behaviour-based safety observations.

Continuous safety observation for compliance with programs, procedures, and policies that training supports should be ongoing. Even the best-trained employees are only safe if they regularly implement the required measures.

Here are safety observation Metrics to include;

•    Ratio of positive to negative observations

•    Types of safety observations

•    Frequency of safety observations


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3.    Zero Accidents Goals

Zero accidents goals aim to eliminate events that lead to property damage, injuries, and loss of productivity. The goals guide all stakeholders on the best safety practices, from the frontline employees to the senior level management. 

These goals enhance safety reporting by giving insights into the events happening on the ground and when. They should be part of the organisation's vision rather than a performance or target metric.

Here are the key indicators to track as corrective and preventive actions;

•    Number of hazards raised daily or weekly 

•    The period between hazard recording and corrective action implementation

•    The weekly average number of unresolved hazards

Slow corrective actions and unresolved hazards are future accidents waiting to happen. Keep the zero accident goals up to date as the process unfolds.

However, these goals have also been proven not to be the best in safety management. Employees might feel bad about disrupting the "zero accidents" goal when an accident happens. So, employees don't report minor accidents, which is a problem when seeking to improve safety reporting.


4.    Inspections and Audits

These are compliance tools that customise your safety program. They enable the tracking of content and guide inspection and audit frequency to set goals that increase or manage content and time frames.

Here are the metrics to track;

•    Investigation closed time frame

•    Equipment breakdown

•    Safety or inspection visit against the plan

The data generated gives insights into problem-solving queries on how often to update programs and procedures and maintenance program functionality.


5.    Workforce Engagement

Organisations should regularly engage employees in safety training, discussions, and briefing. According to a study, organisations and employees with high health and safety engagement levels have 70% fewer incidents than organisations with low engagement levels.

Here are ways to improve employee engagement;

•    Appoint dedicated safety individuals per project or worksite

•    Hold daily and weekly briefing on-site health and safety briefing

•    Provide employees with a safety resources access platform

•    Acknowledge safety reporting

•    Collect feedback and continuously review processes


Final thoughts

Organisations should adopt efficient safety management tools that incorporate all the stakeholders to enhance safety reporting. Safety reporting enhances an organisation's workplace safety by lowering incidences and accidents. 

The main aim of safety reporting is to identify the root causes of near misses or incidents and apply stringent control measures to prevent the incident from occurring again. An organisation should adopt an open culture to onboard all the employees while working as a unit to enlighten them on safety reporting.

Finally, business managers should finalise the corrective actions, close the investigations and file all the documentation for future reopening in case of future legal actions or long-term injury claims. 


If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to have a better integration of safety reporting, we've got you covered. Falcony is easy-to-use, boosts two-way communication, has customisable workflows, automated analytics, vast integration possibilities and more. Start your 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

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We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

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