Observation Tracking: Dos And Don’ts
Safety observations help identify risky or unsafe working conditions. Tracking these observations include gathering them and then following their progress and resolution. It takes excellent management, transparent workplace culture, and more to support the sharing and tracking of safety observations.
In this article, we cover why observation tracking is important and how to do it effectively.
Why Is Observation Tracking Important?
Safety observations help with improving numerous areas of your business and its functionality. Tracking them:
- Decreases the likelihood of accidents
- Supports the implementation of safety policy
- Allows for the identification and removal of risk factors
- Reinforces safety in the workplace
- Encourages awareness of safety and its importance
- Builds workplace culture
- Ensures any observations reported are dealt with
The Cost Of Inaction
Observations are a valuable contribution to safety and employee wellness. However, they are worthless without tracking and management. Tracking is what takes observations and turns them into actions that benefit your business by improving safety.
The cost of not tracking, and therefore the cost of inaction, is leaving unsafe conditions unresolved until an incident or accident takes place. This is harmful for your employees and is costly for your organisation.
How To Get Everyone Involved With Observation And Incident Tracking
Create a culture of openness, transparency, and accountability. This is the foundation for any successful observation and incident tracking program. Without a supportive workplace culture, you may struggle to get employees to come forward and report.
Employees need to feel that if they report issues, they won’t “get in trouble” or face backlash. When you have a good culture, this becomes inherent in how everyone works. By showing the value of observations, you encourage everyone to report and track as a way to better the business.
Another way to improve tracking (as well as the workplace culture) is to remain open about the progress of the observations reported. When you take action and inform employees about the process, it builds trust in the system.
Providing feedback about observations also shows them the necessity of their contributions and reminds them that you care about their concerns and safety.
Thus, it’s important not just to gather observations but to follow them through to resolution.
The Dos & Don'ts Of Observation Tracking
Here’s what to do and what not to do when it comes to observation tracking.
- Educate your employees on observations
- Provide training to management on how to deal with observations
- Have a dedicated individual or team to handle observation tracking. This helps with accountability when this is not done.
- Make it part of daily work activities. For example, include posters around the workplace to remind employees to track observations.
- Use a system that enables communication, feedback, reporting, and other aspects of tracking.
- Make it a punishable offence if employees fail to report.
- Leave reported observations unaddressed.
- Blame the messenger.
- Hide progress and outcomes of reports.
Safety observations can be a valuable way to enhance workplace safety and build trust in management. However, it requires an existing culture of openness to get everybody working as a unit to track issues. It also requires active management and dedication. But, getting it right can transform safety for everyone.
If your organisation is looking for a 360° safety management tool to involve all employees, service providers and other external stakeholders to improve the safety of your operations, have a look at the 30-day free trial of the Falcony Platform:
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.
More information at falcony.io.
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