At a basic level, an observational safety program, like SafeTrack, is one of the three primary components required to achieve a world-class or optimum safety system¹.
Observation and feedback processes or behavior based safety (BBS) processes have been around for a long time (over 40 years) and have been used by thousands of companies to achieve sustained injury reductions. But they require a substantial investment in time, both for observer training and for the observations themselves. So why invest in one?
First, let’s agree that one of the most powerful ways to increase a behavior is to positively reinforce it. In order to deliver meaningful positive reinforcement, especially for certain very important "on-going" safe behaviors, like eyes on task and body position out of the line-of-fire, the person must be observed performing their job. It's impossible to give meaningful and effective positive reinforcement otherwise. You can't say “thanks for driving the fork truck safely” if you didn't actually watch the person driving it. They know that you don't really know whether they were driving it safely or not. Observation and feedback processes provide a planned and communicated method for: performing observations, providing reinforcement, tracking results, and implementing improvement strategies.
SafeTrack is primarily about teaching people how to observe a co-worker and how to deliver meaningful, positive reinforcement. Secondarily, it's about how to positively correct at-risk behavior if observed. The focus is on non-deliberate and habitual behavior, helping people use SafeStart CERT #4, “Work on Habits”, to target their at-risk behaviors. This course will also teach people how to record and track their observations so the data can be analyzed and improvement strategies can be developed.
SafeTrack works because it is based on the proven techniques and real observations that Larry Wilson has conducted in his 25+ years of delivering observer training and making field observations. It communicates in a simple and sometimes humorous manner that observers can relate to while the reality-based videos really demonstrate how people, not actors, communicate.