The COVID-19 pandemic has strained surgical systems worldwide and placed healthcare providers at risk in their workplace. To protect surgical care providers caring for patients with COVID-19, in May 2020 we developed a COVID-19 Surgical Patient Checklist (C19 SPC), including online training materials, to accompany the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. In October 2020, an online survey was conducted via partner and social media networks to understand perioperative clinicians’ intraoperative practice and perceptions of safety while caring for COVID-19 positive patients and gain feedback on the utility of C19 SPC. Descriptive statistics were used to characterise responses by World Bank income classification. Qualitative analysis was performed to describe respondents’ perceptions of C19 SPC and recommended modifications. Respondents included 539 perioperative clinicians from 63 countries. One-third of respondents reported feeling unsafe in their workplace due to COVID-19 with significantly higher proportions in low (39.8%) and lower-middle (33.9%) than higher income countries (15.6%). The most cited concern was the risk of COVID-19 transmission to self, colleagues and family. A large proportion of respondents (65.3%) reported that they had not used C19 SPC, yet 83.8% of these respondents felt it would be useful. Of those who reported that they had used C19 SPC, 62.0% stated feeling safer in the workplace because of its use. Based on survey results, modifications were incorporated into a subsequent version. Our survey findings suggest that perioperative clinicians report feeling unsafe at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, adjunct tools such as the C19 SPC can help to improve perceived safety.