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5 Steps To Improve The Performance Of Your Safety Observers

5 Steps To Improve The Performance Of Your Safety Observers

Feb 09 2024 at 07:51

As the most valued assets of any organisation, employees must be well-protected while executing their duties on the shop floor. All goal-oriented organisations, therefore, strive to ensure their workforce's safety for the duration of their employment in many ways, such as through safety observation.

A safety observation is a process that involves recording employees' behaviours as they go about the workday to verify that all employees are following safety protocols and uncover unsafe work conditions. Safety observations are essential in the workplace as they help identify and address unsafe practices and potential hazards before they cause an accident and discover any gaps in the organisation's safety training programme.

Safety observers are tasked with carrying out these tasks, and to ensure they do their job well, here are five strategies organisations can employ to improve their performance;


1. Define the specific role of a safety observer

Assigning safety observers to a particular job requires explicitly defining their roles and responsibilities. This involves providing a clear description of the duties and expectations of the observer along with the protocols and standards they are expected to follow. Being as specific as possible empowers observers by making it clear how to complete their work and lets them understand the active role they are taking in ensuring safety at the organisation.


2. Provide comprehensive and continuous training

It should go without saying that safety observers can only perform excellently when they are well-informed about the technical aspects of their job and are capable of effectively communicating their findings with others. This is where comprehensive training comes in to provide both, and it should cover the specific risks and hazards present in the workplace, the protocols for evaluating and mitigating said risks, and any other relevant safety regulations and standards.

Most importantly, the training programme should address and improve the observers' soft skills, as it is vital for those undertaking cooperative roles to be competent when it comes to communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

Lastly, make it a priority to provide safety observers with opportunities to develop their skills via continuous training. With the abundance of industry-specific safety courses now available, such as an advanced occupational first aid course for high-risk occupations, staying up-to-date on the latest safety regulations, best practices, and technologies ultimately increases their performance.


3. Encourage active participation

Encourage your organisation's safety observers to actively participate in safety inspections, investigations, and audits, as these will help them better understand the hazards and risks present in the workplace and develop a better eye for identifying areas for improvement. This is one of the steps where good communication skills are highlighted since they are essential for safety observers to share their findings and offer recommendations for changes. If an observer cannot effectively convey plans for future improvements, their efforts will largely be ineffectual.


4. Give feedback and support

Safety observers need regular feedback regarding their performance and must be constructive, practical, and focused on the key areas where they can improve. Apart from that, they should also be allotted the necessary resources and support to improve their performance, such as access to equipment and further training.


5. Leverage technology where possible

Technology can be incredibly beneficial for improving a safety observer's performance. For instance, mobile applications can help them readily collect and analyse data, access relevant information in real time, and immediately communicate their findings. Hence, adding technology to a safety observer's toolbelt can significantly streamline the inspection process, improve accuracy, and increase overall efficiency.



Organisations that invest in improving the performance of their safety observers and inspectors can expect significant returns in the form of an improved safety culture in the workplace, enhanced productivity, reduced incidents, and a positive reputation. By taking the steps above, leaders can ensure that safety observers have the means to carry out their duties with excellence and reinforce the company's commitment to the safety of its employees.

Suppose you are looking to further your safety observers' technical skills. In that case, Wong Fong Academy provides a wide range of training programmes designed to take their knowledge and expertise to greater heights. With our commitment to providing quality skills training across all industrial sectors in Singapore, you can rely on our library of courses to be current and relevant as we develop each one with the help of various regulatory bodies. For more information about our safety courses, like safe lifting operations or other divisions of learning, feel free to reach out to us today.