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Health and safety on construction sitesWhen it comes to observations, most people’s reflex is to capture issues that need to be fixed, negative things noticed somewhere onsite – for instance combustible materials blocking escape routes.

Obviously, reporting that kind of incident/observation is really helpful to analyse trends, to spot areas of specific issue and take preventive measures.

However, positive observations are also important; not only for people’s morale, but it can also help the business improving its health and safety measures.

Here are 3 reasons why:

1. It allows you to measure improvement:

If only unsafe observations are recorded, there is no way of really knowing if any actions taken have tackled the unsafe behaviours/incidents. Therefore, positive observations let you identify where more action needs to be taken, and where things are working well – having already been sorted.

2. It allows unsafe observations to be put into context:

If you only know there have been 3 unsafe observations around PPE, how do you know if that’s bad or good? There is no context to measure how big the problem is. However, if you also knew that in that same time, there were 300 good observations of PPE, the unsafe observations are given some kind of context

3. Last but not least – it gives motivation and the opportunity to celebrate success:

Positive safety observations provide positive feedback to management and teams – giving the opportunity to celebrate success, especially to those who took care of unsafe issues. This in turn helps to motivate these individuals to continue working as they do, whilst demonstrating examples of good behaviour to others on your project.

A recent infographic produced by the BRE YellowJacket team showed that in the software system, over 100,000 examples of good practice health and safety had been logged in the 4 years since the tool was launched – find out more and check out the infographic.

So, how often do you notice good health and safety practice? And do you celebrate that with those involved? Let us know in the comments below or via the YellowJacket twitter.

Jo Goodwin
About the Author
Marketing Manager for BRE SMARTWaste and BRE YellowJacket. Writing about construction waste and waste management, as well as health, safety and wellbeing for the built environment and beyond.

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