Supervisors have extra responsibilities in the workplace, and effectively using a supervisor notebook can help them carry out their duties more effectively. The supervisor notebook isn’t just a place to note infractions. It’s a multiuse-use tool for supervisors to record daily safety observations, concerns, and successes, as well as ideas. It may also act as evidence during an incident investigation and could even be used to prove due diligence.
What is Supervisor Notebook?
A supervisor’s notebook is not just a regular notebook. Supervisor’s notebooks are designed for supervisors. They’re pocket-sized for convenience and contain ruled pages for notes, observations, and more. To help supervisors document effectively, the supervisor’s notebook also includes:
- A list of the types of incidents which must be reported
- Descriptions of incidents that require investigation and reporting
- Steps outlining the investigation process
- Recommendations for who to involve or contact for investigative purposes
- A guide that includes all of the information that must be included in the report
- An explanation of the duty to preserve the scene of the accident
- Dotted or graph-paper pages for diagrams or maps that are necessary to investigations or observations
How to Use the Supervisor Notebook Effectively
There are many ways to use supervisor notebooks effectively. The experts at BEST Safety recommend including the following:
Any time you see an employee committing a safety infraction, note it. Even if you just verbally remind the employee, or have a more official discussion, be sure to note that in the supervisor notebook. Documenting repeated infractions and conversations supports the progressive discipline policy in your workplace. These notes can also be useful in the event of litigation.
If you’re having a discussion with an employee and you agree to look into something, inspect something, or follow up, note that in your supervisor notebook so that you don’t forget. Likewise, if an employee reports a concern that you need to investigate, be sure to document the employee’s name, the time and date of the conversation, the outcome of the investigation, and any required follow-up.
3. Key Information
If you need to share key information with another supervisor at shift change, or if your leader expects an end-of-shift report, jotting down key information can help ensure solid communication, smooth shift changes, and effective information dissemination.
Include observations such as safety issues, workflow patterns, bottlenecks, or frequent safety concerns. This will help you to identify patterns of inefficiencies and address them.
Inspiration strikes when it strikes! Sometimes, while making an observation or having a discussion, you may have an idea for a process improvement. It could be your idea, or an idea brought forward by a worker. The supervisor notebook is the perfect place to jot down the ideas so that they can be discussed and actioned at a later date.
6. Investigation Notes
In the event you have to participate in an accident investigation your supervisor notebook can serve two purposes: Firstly, it may contain information crucial to the investigation, and second, it’s an excellent place to record investigation findings so that nothing is missed when the official report gets written.
7. Positive Feedback
Don’t forget to record positive feedback as well. This can include observing a worker following safety processes, observing an efficiency resulting from a recent change, or documenting a positive conversation in which you were able to give kudos to an employee for their great work.
Supervisor Awareness Training
Because supervisor competency is so important, the Act makes supervisor awareness training mandatory. Supervisor awareness training covers:
- How to make a difference in the workplace
- Duties and responsibilities of workplace parties
- Worker rights and how to protect them
- The role of the JHSC
- The definition of a good safety leader
- Effective use of supervisor notebooks and documentation
- The external support resources available, and how to access them
- Hazard recognition, assessment and control
- How to improve and support a positive workplace safety culture
- How to handle health and safety concerns
- Safety motivation
- Accessing external training providers for support and training solutions