Behavior Observations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the intent of a Safety Observation?

To prevent injuries and incidents by directly observing a team member’s actions and providing 1-to-1 feedback for improvement.

How long should I observe someone?

5 – 10 minutes, maximum

What if several people are in the same area – can I observe all of them?

No, behavior observations are designed to facilitate 1-to-1 conversations at the end of the observation period. The process works best when only one person is observed at a time.

Why do I record my name, but not the name of the person I’m observing?

Behavior-based safety programs are intended to find (and correct) those behaviors that may contribute to injuries and incidents in the future. The observation process should be thought of as an opportunity to ‘Be Better’ – not as a means for corrective action. We do not disclose the identity of the person being observed because it helps maintain the observation in a learning/teaching environment. No corrective actions should ever result from a behavior observation.

Who can perform behavior observations?

Anyone who can accurately identify when an unsafe behavior is occurring. Persons with expertise and knowledge of the task(s) being performed are preferred, but are not required. At first, this means that supervisors/trainers should be observers. As other persons gain comfort and familiarity with the process, peer-to-peer observations are highly encouraged – persons are more likely to change their behavior when a coworker talks to them.

How do I notify someone prior to a behavior observation?

Check out the AWARE process: