What Makes Safety Moments Successful?
When you can, make personal stories part of your safety moment. They help workers retain the information and identify with the issue.
What Is a Safety Moment?
Safety moments are brief meetings that take place at the start or end of the work day or at the beginning of a meeting. These brief meetings involve employees, as well as supervisors, on-site safety professionals, or members of management.
These daily stand-up meetings include a short talk about a safety-related topic that is relevant to the work that will be done during the shift or an incident that has been encountered during the shift. It can also be used to review a general area of concern or give quick reminders concerning the safety policies, procedures, and protocols of the workplace.
(Learn about Near Misses: What They Are and Why You Should Report Them.)
Safety moments are especially used in industries where the risk of injury or death is high. These frequent stand-up meetings are a common feature in construction, industrial, nuclear, and petrochemical work sites. They are far less likely to take place in lower-risk workplaces like retail stores.
Safety moments tend to be more informal than safety presentations or training sessions. They often take the form of a dialog rather than a prepared narrative.
Components of Successful Safety Moments
There is no precise formula for safety moments. They can be practical and hands-on, they can present need-to-know facts, or they can cover relevant safety regulations.
How the information is delivered is also open. It can simply be a discussion of procedures and policies, but it could also involve sharing personal experiences and extracting a lesson from them.
While they're not essential, personal stories do tend to make safety moments more memorable. They give a narrative that the listener can identify with and packages the lesson in a story rather than presenting it in the abstract.
An Actionable Takeaway
The goal of the safety moment is some action on the part of the workers. Whether it's always making sure the first aid kit is properly stocked, doing regular inspections of fall protection harnesses, or paying more attention to their surroundings while moving through the workplace, a good safety moment gives the listeners an actionable takeaway.
Demonstrating a Commitment to Safety
The safety moment doesn't just provide information; it also demonstrates the speaker's commitment to safety. This normalizes safety and helps strengthen the workplace's safety culture.
(for more advice, see How to Build a Sustainable Safety Culture.)
Safety moments should be springboards for further conversation. Creating a dialog with your team, instead of simply lecturing to them, will help them retain the information they learned and strengthen their commitment to act on it. It's also a great opportunity for workers to bring up questions or concerns they might not otherwise have discussed.
(Learn more about Face-to-Face Safety: The Right Way to Build a Safety Culture.)
Safety moments also need to be constructive, not critical. The point is to take safety seriously as a team, not to blame someone for a recent incident or to call them out for their conduct.
Safety Moment Topics
If there's a hazard your workers face, an incident that should be revisited, or a regulation that they need to remember, then it can make a suitable topic for a safety moment.
That means safety moments could be on anything from how to avoid falls to how to avoid noise-induced hearing loss, when to signal to a forklift driver, or what the pipe markings in your workplace mean.
How to Set Up a Safety Moment
Safety moments should be scheduled regularly. This is the best way to make sure they don't fall by the wayside or are poorly attended because some workers are caught up in their work tasks or dealing with clients or customers.
The exception are the brief safety huddles following an incident. These tend to be impromptu and are only held as needed.
Safety moments should be brief – about three to five minutes. If you're presenting information to your workers, make sure that your presentation is no more than two or three minutes long to make sure there is time for questions, comments, and discussion.
If you'll be using supplementary materials, make sure you plan ahead so that you don't eat up part of the safety moment (or the subsequent start of the work day) getting set up.
You might, for instance, print a hand-out with an overview of the safety procedures being discussed to give to employees. For bigger topics like heat stress or properly using fall protection equipment, you could also distribute factsheets or brochures with more in-depth information. Showing a brief video might also be appropriate – a video of scaffolding collapsing can really drive home the importance of making sure they're securely braced.
Encourage employees to suggest timely topics that should be addressed in a safety topic.
This is a great way to ensure that you're covering the most pressing issues, since the workers at the front line often have a better sense of where some of the risks are than the rest of the team. But it's also a great way to reinforce the message that safety is everyone's business and to highlight the importance of looking out for each other.
More from AD Safety Network
- When should you consider using custom molded earplugs?
- At what height do falls become deadly?
- Who should be responsible for rescuing fallen workers?
- What kind of training do loading dock workers need?
- How often should I inspect a loading dock?
- How is wind chill calculated?
- What is the difference between occupational safety and process safety?
- Why should rubber insulating gloves be tested?
- What happens if I tie off at the foot level with a personal SRL?
- Why is testing with a NAIL4PET accredited lab important?
- What kind of face protection do I need when using a chainsaw?
- What is the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica?
- What is silica and why is it hazardous?
- What is 'Table 1' and why is it so important?
- Video Q&A - What is a safety policy?
- What kind of fire extinguisher is best for your work site?
- How do I choose the right respirator and mask for working with silica?
- Can I wear fall protection equipment over my rainwear or winter gear?
- When do I need a cage ladder?
- What types of gloves protect your hands from hazardous chemicals?
- How come I still got hurt while wearing flame-resistant clothing?
- What dangers do workers face when working outside in the winter?
- How do I win over my most reluctant employees?
- What kinds of jobs should use disposable safety gloves?
- Is it true that safety shouldn't be a top priority?
- When are employers allowed to conduct drug and alcohol tests on their employees?
- How can I get employees more involved in the risk assessment plan?
- What are some of the indirect costs of accidents?
- How often do fire extinguishers need to be inspected?
- What is the best way to store rubber safety gloves?
- How much voltage protection is needed for safety gloves used in electrical work?
- What is the difference between a safety valve and a release valve?
- When do workers have the right to refuse to work?
- What is the most overlooked item when designing Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures?
- What are some of the misconceptions about heat stress and what should we do to address them?
- What tools should I tether when working at heights?
- What types of gas should I watch out for when working in a confined space?
- How do you create a culture of safety in your workplace?
- What is the difference between industrial safety and industrial hygiene?
- What is the best kind of gas detector to use in confined spaces?
- Is it important to get PPE assessments by trained professionals?
- What is a fault tree analysis?
- What kind of respirator cartridge should I use?
- What are the safety benefits of a whistleblower program?
- What type of safety record-keeping and recording should we be doing?
- What makes a hi-vis safety vest ANSI compliant?
- Why is it important to have air sampling done to determine my PELs?
- What is the life expectancy of fall protection equipment?
- What are hot work and cold work permits?
- What are some basic fall protection rules that each of my workers need to understand?
- How much clearance do I need to safely use a Leading Edge SRL?
- What is the difference between an acute hazard and a chronic hazard?
- What’s the difference between a bump test, a calibration check, and a full calibration?
- Is there any legislation regulating lone worker safety I should know about before hiring?
- What kind of fire extinguisher and accessories should be kept on hand on a factory floor?
- What can companies do to reduce their lost time injury frequency rates?
- Video Q&A - What's your safety network like?
- Video Q&A - What are the 3 levels of safety?
- Video Q&A - How do you treat a near miss?
- Does body weight affect falls differently?
- What ages are most affected by falls?
- Why do workers take risks?
- What Is the Difference Between OHSAS 18001 and 18002?
- What is the difference between lost time injury and medical treatment case?
- What is the difference between occupational health and safety and workplace health and safety?
- What is the difference between occupational health and occupational safety?
- What is the difference between a lost time injury and a disabling injury?