A Safety Moment is a concise talk about a specific safety topic relevant to one’s workplace. It is usually performed by a Safety Officer employed at the organization at the beginning of a meeting or shift. Also known as safety minutes or safety briefs, these talks can be done in a variety of ways, but are typically a short (one to three-minute) discussion on a safety related topic. They can cover a variety of safety issues and remind employees of the importance of being safe, at work, at home and in all aspects of their lives.
The below listing of Safety Moments below is to be considered general information. It is not explicitly meant to replace any departmental policy, protocol or safe work procedures. These safety tips act solely to remind us about the importance of promoting health and safety, helping recognize and control hazards, increasing awareness and contributing to a safety culture both at home and work.
Choosing a Safety Topic
Most organizations typically have trends of topics which take prevalence in a safety officer’s duties. injuries (ranging from minor to fatal) are a serious concern for all employees at a given organization, it is imperative that the topic of safety resonate with your workers and foster a culture of prevention on the job. Even at home, consider what is done whether cutting the grass or embarking on a DIY project. Do you take a moment to evaluate the risks of your venture and use protective equipment or preventative measures to minimize hazards? Teaching employees to minimize accidents at home helps prevent absenteeism in the work place.
Ideas for Safety Moment Topics
Various organizations have different risk activities which call to attention focus and a fastidious approach to one’s work. Such topics vary from business sector to business sector, and they may include ( but are certainly not limited to):
- Lift protection for warehouses, wholesalers, and construction sites;
- Eye protection for chemical and assembly plants;
- Locating general emergency equipment for small or large-scale hazards;
- Fire extinguisher use for offices;
- Defibrillator use;
- Office ergonomics for sedentary workers;
- Trip and fall prevention;
- Hazardous waste disposal;
- Lockout – Tagout Procedures;
- Working at heights;
- Working in confined spaces;
- Driving during a snowstorm;
- Driving while tired;
- Driving during a rainstorm;
- Checking fire extinguisher status;
- Workplace walk-around;
- Cutting items with a hand saw;
- Using a nail-gun safely;
- Walking on an elevated walkway;
- Checking ladder steps before use;
- Watching for frostbite when working outdoors when it is below -20 C or -10 F
- Watching for heatstroke when working outdoors when it is above 30 C or 90 F
Getting the Most Out of the Meeting
It is imperative that the safety moment be succinct and brief so that key information is easily remembered and resonates with workers. If possible, use a real world example where the issue arose and someone was harmed or nearly harmed. A safety moment that runs too long may run the risk of diminished focus in the attendees and an information overload. If several points need to be made, consider having more frequent safety moments.
While some of the information may be repeated at different safety discussions, it’s important to note that these moments are for the benefit of those exposed to risk. Their preventative measures serve as a way to promote mindfulness of one’s habits and actions, in order to minimize the risk of injury. The key is to focus on the relevance of what is being discussed. Injuries can have a life-long impact. For the minimal investment asked of workers, a company can see a significant reduction in incidents and non-compliance. At the same time, a company can see an increase in uniform performance of duties in accordance with the protocols established by the Health/Safety Officer. Safety Moments create a win-win situation with a company and its employees: safety protocols are met, production downtime is minimized, and individuals enjoy the benefits of a healthy, injury-free work environment.