Using a safety observation report is a useful method for identifying unsafe conditions and actions. It’s important to report all details pertaining to onsite safety. Anyone can report potentially unsafe conditions and activities, and managers should be recording these findings.

The goal is to identify risks and collect data that can be considered when applying corrections to improve safety conditions. Managers must emphasize that the purpose of reporting safety observations is not to assign blame but to improve safety for everyone.

The following are ten examples of safety observations:

1. Disregard to wear specific protective equipment

Protective equipment keeps you from being liable for your own injuries. Wearing protective equipment also increases the quality of your workday.

2. Obstructions to workplace equipment or high-trafficked areas

Obstructions, such as trash, in high-traffic areas, can cause slips, trips, and falls.

3. Proper storage procedures are adhered to

In the food industry, proper storage of ingredients or food products helps preserve the quality and nutritional value. However, storage can apply to other sectors that need to store materials that could be unsafe if exposed to erratic temperatures or conditions.

4. Using equipment and workstations for their designated purpose

Equipment, tools, and workstations should only be used for the purpose that they were intended for. Operating machinery and equipment should also be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Slippery floors, clutter, unsanitary working conditions, etc.

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common injuries in any workplace, regardless of industry. Most slips happen due to wet or oily surfaces, spills, loose rugs, or mats. Trips happen due to blocked views or clutter obstructing normal walkways.

6. Disorganized work spaces

Disorganized or cluttered work spaces have mental and psychological impacts, increasing levels of stress and anxiety – which can impact the worker’s ability to focus. Disorganized work spaces also produce dust, mold, and fire hazards.

7. Ergonomic breeches

Poor posture and awkward movements can lead to injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, epicondylitis, trigger finger, lower back injuries, and muscle strains.

8. Insufficient lighting

Insufficient or poor lighting in the workplace can cause eyestrain, which may lead to fatigue and headaches. And when workers aren’t feeling well, the result may be accidents. Inadequate lighting may also lead to slips and falls.

9. Identifying unsecured entrances and exits

Entrances and exits should be secured to prevent unauthorized exit and entry. In an emergency, exits should also be easily identifiable and not be obstructed.

10. Documenting which safety procedures are correctly performed

All observations should be described in detail and recorded. This way, managers can determine which potential safety risks have not been addressed. For accountability, the records should also indicate who performed the assessment and safety procedures.


These are just a few examples of what observing safety precautions in the workplace look like. There is virtually an unlimited number of dangerous scenarios, objects, and tasks that can result in workplace mishaps. These scenarios can depend on the industry, existing safety measures, and the frequency of safety audits being performed within the organization.

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