Do-It-Yourself Safety Perception Survey: Nine Step Process



Compass provides all of the infrastructure needed for you to conduct a safety perception/climate survey right the first time.

  •  Compass Safety Web-based Safety Perception Survey Software

  •  Do-it-Yourself 9 Step Survey Guidebook

  •  Do-it-Yourself Survey Course

Here is a brief summary of how each of the above products work and how they can help you.

Web-based Safety Perception Survey Software

 (a do-it-yourself survey option).

Few people would allow their doctor to operate on them without a solid diagnosis of their health problem. Similarly, health and safety professionals cannot properly manage health and safety without first obtaining clear direction of what needs to be done.  A well constructed and properly administered safety perception survey will provide your company with all the information needed to improve health and safety in your company. However, before conducting a survey you need to ensure that you have everything you need in order to administer the survey properly. Many companies have tried to administer safety perception surveys themselves but have failed. Here are five typical reasons why they fail:

  • they either didn’t have the required knowledge needed to administer the survey properly
  • they didn’t have an appropriate database to manage the volumes of data typically generated from the survey process or,
  • they hired a consulting company offering survey services who also was not properly equipped to survey
  • their management were concerned about what the survey might reveal
  • the free survey software made available to them did not provide them with the depth of reporting needed to reveal all of the opportunities for improvement

Compass is committed to ensuring your survey experience with us is a success.  We have the knowledge and all of the tools you need to successfully conduct your survey. We charge companies a small fee to use our survey application and included in that fee we guide them through the process. The saying “you get what you pay for” is certainly true when it comes to survey databases.  The database you use will dictate, how you administer the survey, how much work is expended in administering it, the quality of the reports and your ability to analyze the data thoroughly. In the end, the overall cost and quality of your findings and recommendations, depend on what your database can do for you.  Our database comes with a comprehensive user’s manual. We can provide off the shelf surveys or we can help you build surveys that meet company specific needs.

NOTE: Compass now now offers this application, (and our other survey products) up for sale to large companies, safety associations, Governments, workers insurance companies.  The use of the products will be restricted to the organization’s use and cannot be resold.

Click here to view sample reports 

Do-it-Yourself – (9 Step) Survey Guidebook

Do-it-yourself Safety Perception Survey Book

We have literally written the book on how to conduct safety perception surveys. We have taken all the mystery out of a process that, until now, has been the exclusive domain of expensive consultants. If you are not using our safety perception software be certain you know how to properly administer a safety perception survey before you start. There are a number of ways the survey process can fail and if you fail once, it will reflect badly on the process attempt and on attempts going forward. In fact, failure could result in you never getting another opportunity to conduct a survey in your company.  Our how to book entitled “YES YOU CAN… Conduct your own safety perception survey” will guide you through the survey process, step by step.  In it we are careful to explain what not to do that may result in failure. The book contains details on our 9 step survey process. Here are the steps:

  • Develop
  • Sample
  • Test
  • Communicate
  • Administer
  • Analyze
  • Validate
  • Obtain Feedback
  • Re-evaluate

This 9 step do-it-yourself process is the key to a successful survey experience.  For more information on the 9 steps you may refer to our article that was published in Professional Safety, ASSE at this page:

Instructors: If you are instructing a course on evaluating health and safety systems containing information on safety perception surveys, you should consider using our guidebook as a reference.  The book contains a workshop that is linked to our survey demo site. Students can demonstrate what they have learned in class by working on the workshop and answering the workshop questions.  Not only does this allow them to create and work with data reports but it also give them the opportunity to analyze the demo survey data and then compare their analysis to ours.


$32.00 CDN (plus s&h)


CONTACT US today and start moving your organization toward world class health and safety.


 Do-it-Yourself Survey Course

We have developed a two day do-it-yourself safety perception course.  This course follows the information contained in the book and is ideal for safety associations, universities and colleges. The following summarizes the course content:

  • Health and Safety Culture/Climate
  • 9 step survey process
  • Survey Application Reports
  • Data Analysis – workshop

Client Safety Perception Survey USER OPTIONS

USER OPTIONS FOR: Safety Associations, Consultants, Unions, Insurance Companies, Large Companies

Our survey application was developed to meet the needs of organizations of any size. For larger organizations, such as Safety Associations, Consultants (desiring to survey multiple clients), Unions, Workers Insurance and large companies, our survey application can be set up to allow the organization the ability to manage their own client surveys. First, we partition off a portion of our application for your organization’s use. Your data and findings can then be bench marked against those of your survey group or against the entire database.  For example, the ABC Mining Association can make an association specific survey available to members that allows them to benchmark their results against the mining industry. In addition, they can bench mark against all industries using the same questions. Equally important, our survey application has been designed to allow companies to modify a standard survey to meet their own continuous improvement needs.  For example, if you have a fleet or employ many contractors and your association’s general survey does not reflect that need, additional questions can be added to the survey in order to meet the companies’ specific needs. Our application then allows these companies to toggled in or out the additional questions results that were added.  In this way, the mining association measurement needs can be met and the company specific needs can be met.  This is just one example of how our process can help meet company specific needs. 

Here is an example of how the process works for larger organizations.  

  • Compass works with the organization to develop a survey or surveys from our master question list.  Additional company specific questions may be incorporated into the survey.
  • The organizations’ survey(s) is made available to members/clients under the their umbrella set up in the database.
  • On an as need basis, the organizations’ survey is set up for the individual member/client companies under a unique code.
  • Our survey process is do-it-yourself but Compass guides each company or organization through the survey process to ensure each survey is successful.
  • Survey respondents log onto the Compass survey site and respond to the organizations’ survey. (The survey can be completed in hard copy if necessary).
  • Once all respondents have completed the survey, the reports are made available to the company.
  • Compass receives a payment from the association or member company based on the number of survey respondents.
  • Compass then advises on the reports and analysis.

Here is some additional information about the process:

  • The survey application incorporates some powerful bench marking options that allows companies to compare their survey findings against others in their industry/group, as well as against all of the respondents’ data collected in the database. 
  • Recognizing that every company has their own specific survey needs, we developed the survey application so that companies could add additional company specific questions to a standardized group survey.  Then we added the ability to toggle in or out the results of specific questions.  This allows individual companies to meet the group standardized survey requirements but also their company specific requirements.  This approach is unique and refreshing option from the “on size fits all” approach generally offered.  
  • We also recognize that large organizations have employees that may find it more comfortable to respond to a survey in their own language.  Therefore, we added the option to survey in over a hundred different languages.  
  • Our database is extremely flexible. Each client can select and print only the reports that serve their purpose. For example, if you choose not to include the Employee Comments report that reveals every respondent comments to every question, you can select a less revealing report that summarizes the comments into a percent positive or negative Comments Pie Chart.  
  • We work with every client and make certain they follow the survey administration process and are using the survey application properly.  We charge a nominal fee per survey respondent to ensure each survey is administered properly.  
  • Our do-it-yourself guide book can also be tailored to meet each Association/Organization’s specific needs.  The Association’s survey guide book can then be provided to all survey administrators as their step by step survey guide.
  • The guidebook can be used as the basis for survey administer training.  
  • The database can easily be tailored to help conduct health and safety management system audits.  The interview process is very costly, may be bias and employees may be guarded in responding to interview questions.  Surveys can be used to gather interview information.

There are no contracts to sign.  Try the approach and if you like it, use it again.  We have drastically reduced the pricing for database users in this option.  Call us to discuss your survey needs.  Your organization may qualify for a FREE TRIAL SURVEY.  

USER OPTIONS FOR:  Individual companies

Individual companies are welcome to use our survey application.  We treat all of our clients the same. We will help individual companies create a survey or use one that we have already created.  We then walk them through the survey administration process and give them tips on reporting and analysis. Each of our survey clients also benefits from our applications ability to bench mark against other companies, survey in different languages, work with flexible reports, etc.


Most companies conduct system audits to help guide them finding opportunities for health and safety improvement. But many of these audits only provide them with a partial picture of the health and safety management system.  Here is why:

  • Audit protocols are often fashioned after some very old research that was conducted by by W. H. Heinrich back in the 1930’s.  He proposed companies develop a basic health and safety program around some key program elements such as investigation, inspection, etc. Knowledge of safety systems has now evolved way beyond the basic elements that he proposed.
  • Companies auditing year in and year out, using the same or similar audit protocol ultimately begin to suffer from a condition know as audit fatigue and paralysis.  After a while, the audit process ceases to provide them with new information and direction.
  • Many auditors are provided with only five days of training. Some auditors come with a wealth of knowledge of safety systems and some with very little. This difference in knowledge has a profound effect on the quality of the assessment you will receive.
  • Few audit courses provide sufficient training to auditors on how to properly conduct interviews.
  • Interview responses are often based on a YES or NO scale which results in ballpark scores to questions.
  • The assessment approach is expensive as auditors are required to spend most of their auditing time conducting employee interviews.

No company can achieve safety excellence without soliciting and acting on their employees safety program perceptions. Their perceptions, accurate or not, influence how they behave on the job. If their perception is that management really values productivity over safety, safety will take a back seat to production. What is said and/or written with respect to safety does not always reflect an employees’ reality. Safety perception surveys will identify how well your health and safety management system is or is not working according to the real system experts – your employees.

After Heinrich’s time, other renown safety professionals such as Dr. Dan Petersen came to the for. Petersen conducted some safety research on some US railways using safety perception surveys. He determined that the measurement approach was superior in effectively assessing employee perceptions, corporate culture and climate. Since then, ongoing health and safety research has eclipsed Petersen’s great work. Today’s most safety perception surveys do not reflect current research and seek answers to the more recently revealed health and safety influencing factors such as safety, worker autonomy and work life balance.  These additional factors influence employee behavior and audits typically do not measure them. Some safety perception surveys do not measure them either.  Compass Health & Safety Ltd. works with organizations to ensure their survey reflects current research. Our goal is to help our clients with a survey that helps identify the factors that are preventing them from building a world class health and safety culture.

Commission for Referrals

We offer a generous finders fee for individuals that help bring us new survey clients. If you make a solid referral to us that leads to a new survey client, such as an individual company or industry group (e.g. safety association or union), you will receive a percentage of the sales.  Call us and we will discuss these details with you.