Job Safety Observation Form

Easily customize job safety observation forms to increase inspection efficiency. Complete observations in the workplace with PandaDoc's easy-to-use mobile app to improve workplace safety.

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Job Safety Observation Form

What is a job observation form?

‌A job safety observation form is used by businesses to document hazards and track the overall safety of the workplace.

Companies use safety observation templates to monitor the effectiveness of behavior-based safety (BBS) programs, audit employee behavior, and improve workplace safety. 

You can use templates to bring attention to employees’ safety behavior and make them aware of unsafe conditions. 

Who needs to complete a job observation form?

‌If you are an employer who is required to conduct safety inspections and follow industry standards that are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you should use a job observation form to collect your findings. 

Managers are often expected to perform these observations using checklists that have separate sections for each safety topic.

A job observation form template is recommended for jobs with high injury or illness rates and jobs in which one human error could lead to a severe accident or injury. One of the most common places safety observation forms are used is construction sites. 

What is a job observation form used for?

‌A job observation form should be used to simplify the safety observation process. Safety observations count the number of safe and unsafe actions or conditions in a work area during a specific period of time.

After the observation concludes, the form can be used to communicate with employees about their behaviors in a way that encourages improvement without the threat of punishment for mistakes.

As part of the employee risk assessment, the form should include a place for you to report both good and bad behaviors, as well as areas in which the employee excels. 

To create a positive and safe work environment, you need to acknowledge and reward safe behavior and correct unsafe behavior.

Only focusing on the negative could increase the risk of workplace injuries. Your goal should be to identify and record any risky employee behavior and use that data to implement corrections that improve safety.

What should a job observation form include?

‌A safety observation template should feature various fields related to safety checking, task observation, and other relevant health and safety standard practices.

Your form should also include areas to check for compliance with your safe work procedures.  The form should provide a survey of the entire work area.  

Fields on the form should provide space to describe:

  • how the employee is performing the work
  • safety hazards
  • whether the employee is wearing personal protective equipment
  • how the task is being performed
  • any risk behaviors
  • opinions from the employee about possible risks associated with the task
  • feedback from the inspector about unsafe behavior

Should you use a template to create a job observation form?

Safety observations are important to track and improve your business’ safety standards. Increasing employee participation in reporting safety observations will promote a safety culture in your workplace and ensure your BBS program is succeeding.

Using a template, you can easily send forms directly to employees so they can review areas for improvement. 

Job safety observation forms could also help you avoid serious fines for not complying with safety standards.

Since safety observations are critical and need to be completed frequently, it’s necessary to have easy-to-use software that ensures forms are filled out consistently and accurately. 

PandaDoc allows you to capture required data with minimal room for error with drag-and-drop features. You can customize your job safety observation form by adding your company’s logo and tailoring the form’s criteria to increase your inspection efficiency.

You can even use PandaDoc’s mobile app to complete observations from your mobile device.

Is a job safety observation form the same as a safety audit form?

A safety observation is different from a safety audit, although they both assess employee behavior as part of a workplace safety plan.

Safety observations look for hazards, risks, and other factors that may prevent a company from operating safely, while safety audits examine whether programs and strategies are meeting a company’s safety goals.

Safety observation forms are typically feedback forms meant for follow-up, while safety audits are more akin to business forms or audit reports. You can include a similar checklist in both forms with relevant OSHA standards and best practices. 

OSHA does not require safety audits or inspections, but companies use safety observation forms to keep up with industry standards. OSHA may request an audit as part of an ongoing review to determine whether an employer corrected hazardous conditions listed in previous safety observations. ‌