Safety reports are a crucial part of any workplace environment where heavy machinery, potentially harmful materials or dangerous procedures are in use. A few examples of these kinds of workplaces are:
- Construction sites.
- Industrial settings.
These reports are written by companies operating in these industries for the purpose of educating employees on proper safety procedures.
Introduce the Purpose of the Safety Report
The first part of a safety report is a clear introduction to the topic the report covers. The introduction summarizes the report’s content, which is typically a specific subject like:
- How to maintain certain pieces of equipment.
- Preventing specific types of workplace accidents.
- The correct way to operate a specific piece of machinery in use in the workplace.
Following the introduction paragraph, the safety report should include a list of each piece of equipment discussed in the report and its purpose. Basically, a safety report should cover everything the reader needs to know about its topic and preemptively answer any questions the reader might have. When writing a safety report, the writer should do her best to think like the employees who will read it. This can involve interviewing workers in the industry or company who will use the report.
Along with the list of equipment discussed in the report, the safety report should include a maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment. Employees who work with this equipment need to know when and how to maintain it because proper machinery maintenance can prevent accidents. Additionally, the report should include an outline of basic repairs and troubleshooting measures to take with each piece of equipment following specific types of failures known to occur with the equipment. This section should also include the tools needed to perform these repairs.
Include Clear, Labeled Diagrams
In addition to a list of the equipment discussed in the report, a safety report should include clear, labeled diagrams of each of the pieces of equipment. This way, readers can visualize the pieces of equipment working together and identify the equipment when they see it in person.
By seeing and understanding how the equipment is supposed to work, they can also identify faulty and damaged equipment when they see it and know how to replace or repair a faulty machine or part. Additionally, showing employees how machines work when they are used properly equips them to recognize situations when they are being used in an unsafe manner so they can take appropriate action.
Include All Relevant Statistics
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration publishes accident reports and statistics for a wide range of industries. In a safety report, real-life statistics taken from OSHA reports can illustrate the importance of taking workplace safety seriously.
Write Out All Steps Clearly
Safety reports should be written in a clear, step-by-step format. Following the report’s introduction and list of equipment mentioned within the report, the steps employees are expected to take should be written in a clear format with each step listed as a heading followed by text explaining how to perform that step.
Use Clear, Simple Language
A safety report is not a doctoral thesis. In other words, the right kind of language for a safety report is language that is clear and easy for all readers to comprehend. Jargon and technical terms should be kept to a minimum, and when they must be used, they should be clearly defined in the text.
When a safety report’s language makes it difficult for employees to understand, the employees can potentially cause accidents and suffer injuries because of their misunderstanding.
Lindsay Kramer has been a full-time writer since 2014. In that time, she's experienced the ups, downs and crazy twists life tends to take when you're launching, building and leading a small business. As a small business owner, her favorite aspect about writing in this field is helping other small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs become more fluent in the terminology and concepts they face in this role. Previously, she's written on entrepreneurship for 99designs and covered business law topics for law firms.