How To Write a Safety Report

How To Write a Safety Report

iStock_000000471046XSmallOHS professionals write many reports, read many reports and ask others to prepare reports for them. A major sin is long rambling reports that do not get to the point quickly and succinctly! Prepare succinct reports yourself and make it clear that your expectation is that others do likewise. If you receive a long report ask the author for a succinct summary of the major points. Often people just want to know what has to be done and why and can do without all the padding.

Report writing

  • Need to consider your audience-Personal style, technical background, formality and their likely attitude to your communication.
  • Generally a team approach to preparing your report has advantages, put a fair bit of work into defining the scope of your report.
  • Use relevant means of gathering necessary data. Search the internet but be certain of your source, experiments, surveys, interviews, questionnaires.
  • Draft, set aside after get comments on the draft and re-draft.
  • Spell check and get at least one other person to edit the final.


  • Front-Cover, title, introduction, contents page, list of illustrations, abstract or executive summary.
  • Report body, discussion, conclusions, recommendations.
  • End, references, appendices.
  • Pictures, diagrams, sketches and flow charts can have a powerful impact and save a lot of written words.
  • Use short words and short sentences and avoid jargon, use concrete rather than abstract terms.
  • Try to present both sides of the case.
  • Be succinct, busy people do not have time to write waffle that others are too busy to read. Bear in mind however your paper work needs to be detailed enough to be defensible in court.
  • Follow up an important report with face-to-face communication or a presentation.

The above is adapted from Writing and Presenting Reports by B Eunson which is well worth a read.

8 thoughts on “How To Write a Safety Report

  1. hello. I’m still studying OHS, and we were given an assignment to write report writing on ”US DOCTORS, NURSES ON CORONA-VIRUS FRONT LINE BEG FOR CRITICAL PPE”- from AL JAZEERA. how do i write report by relating it to PPE and workplace safety.

    And its due on Wednesday, which is tomorrow. Hope you can help me out. thanks.

    1. Vanessa, it’s best to approach the issue of PPE from the nature of the person wearing it. PPE in itself doesn’t make someone safe, its is far from a magic bullet and more like a psychological security blanket in the midst of so many complex competing forces. The attitude, wise thinking and motivation of the person wearing the PPE and what they think it does is critical for tackling risk. If anything, I would use the history of PPE in the safety industry of how to NOT approach the PPE issue.
      The fact that nurses and doctors are begging for PPE shows their level of mindfulness and how they understand they are exposed to risk. Wearing of PPE is ineffective if one doesn’t understand why it should be worn and indeed, why and when it shouldn’t be worn if it increases exposure to risk.
      One of the great things in favour of doctors and nurses is their level and breadth in education, they are trained to think critically and not just to wear PPE because it is enforced. This mindfulness is critical to the effectiveness of wearing PPE and opens up these professions to innovation and creativity in the face of shortages.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.