Creating a safe workplace for your employees is essential. Not only are there legal and moral obligations to do so, but when you have a safe workplace, you are less likely to have absenteeism and more likely to have higher productivity.
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Keeping staff informed about potential health and safety risks is critical to building a safety culture within your organization. Introducing new concepts to this space can help to bring new enthusiasm and awareness to health and safety.
Many organizations have successfully introduced “safety moments” to their health and safety awareness work.
What is a safety moment?
Safety moments are brief exercises or discussions focussed on specific safety-oriented topics held at a dedicated time. This work safety idea is designed to focus attention on particular risks as well as general safety.
Despite the name, they actually take up a few moments of time – usually three to five – and should be short and sharp in their duration. The goal is to get employees to think about and identify any potential workplace hazards and to understand what steps they should take to avoid them. Safety moments should have clear and concise information and provide easy-to-understand and actionable steps for employees to follow.
A safety moment is usually a standing item on a meeting agenda. They may be delivered at a weekly team meeting or at the start of the day each day, depending on your industry. They are not designed to take the place of formal safety training but can be used to reinforce such learning.
Organizations that have safety moments for staff are usually involved in industries where there is a high risk of workplace injury or death. Dangerous industries such as construction and manufacturing, for example, have workplaces where employees are exposed to numerous hazards and risks. However, safety moments can be introduced to just about any industry.
Why you should consider safety moments in the workplace
Safety moments are designed to put safety at the front of employees’ minds so that they conduct themselves in a safe way, understanding their responsibilities to have a safe workplace and to reduce and avoid risks and hazards to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.
The benefits of safety moments include:
- Being able to reinforce your workplace health and safety policies
- Being able to communicate the consequences of not following safety protocols
- Being able to offer quick and simple “refresher” training that builds on and reinforces more formal safety training
- It can present safety information in an engaging and easy-to-digest way for people with lower attention spans
- Can prevent people from being overwhelmed with too much information all at once
- Building a strong safety culture within your organization.
Read more: Emergency alert system for business
How to make safety moments a success in your organization
If you plan to introduce safety moments to your organization, there’s a few key steps you can take to ensure that they are useful, engaging and ultimately successful:
- Schedule safety moments at a frequency that suits your company’s needs.
- Use them as part of other safety awareness campaigns to reinforce messages (or vice versa). For example, you can create screensavers or send pop-up quizzes.
- Use visuals to help keep boost engagement.
- Incorporate personalization if you can to help people empathize with the messaging.
- Always ensure there’s an actionable takeaway that employees can use in their day-to-day work lives.
- Include remote workers in your safety tips by sending pop-up video messages.
12 safety moment examples to use in your workplace in 2023
Here are some safety moment ideas that you can deliver in your workplace in 2023:
1. Lifting heavy objects
Many workplace injuries happen when people lift heavy objects incorrectly. People need to understand they must always be careful when lifting heavy objects in the workplace, taking care to use correct posture to avoid back and joint injuries:
- Always bend your knees and keep your back straight
- Hold objects you are lifting close to your body
2. Situational awareness
Situational awareness is an extremely important skill for employees to have in the workplace. This safety moment topic can involve talking about the importance of staying focused on the work that is being done while simultaneously being aware of what is happening in your surroundings. Give tips for minimizing distractions or include safety checklists.
3. Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are extremely common causes of workplace injuries. The most common causes are:
- Wet and slippery floor/ground surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Unsuitable footwear
- Unstable walkways
- Tripping hazards being left in thoroughfares.
Provide your employees with the most common slip, trip and fall hazards that are unique to your workplace and the steps that they can take to minimize and prevent these risks.
There are many ergonomic risk factors in the modern workplace that can lead to both long-lasting and acute injuries. It’s important that employees understand these risks so that they can avoid them.
They should know the following:
- What sorts of repetitive tasks can cause issues
- How to avoid overexertion
- Why they should avoid sustained awkward postures
- How to adjust their office furniture to reduce risk
- Who in the organization can help provide an ergonomic assessment
- The importance of regular breaks
- What stretches/exercises they can do to combat sitting for too long.
5. Workplace stress
There is a whole range of work-related stress that can cause workplace health issues, including burnout, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. This can include:
- Unsustainable workloads
- Toxic work culture
- Infrequent breaks
In this work safety moment, you should advise employees on how to ask for help, what employee assistance programs are available, and any relaxation and rest techniques that you can deploy to reduce stress.
Measure the level of employee stress by conducting a work stress survey.
6. Wearing appropriate clothing
It is important that all employees wear clothing that is suitable and appropriate for the tasks they are undertaking. This includes:
- Avoiding loose clothing that has the potential to be caught in machinery
- Always wearing the appropriate safety gear for the task (eg: goggles, gloves, helmets, boots, hi-vis vests).
- For outside workers, dress for the conditions (eg: wet weather gear, sunscreen, warm clothing when cold).
7. Awareness of emergency exits and routes
It’s important to take time to remind people about where emergency exits are located and to familiarize themselves with any escape routes in advance of an actual emergency occurring. This way, they can be prepared to evacuate should a critical situation unfold.
8. Workplace drug and alcohol misuse
Employees who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace pose a risk to their own health and safety and that of others. When their mental state is impaired, they can cause accidents and fatalities. A safety moment on this topic can:
- Help employees understand the health and physical risks of being affected by drugs and alcohol at work
- The role they have to play in creating a safe work environment that is drug and alcohol-free.
9. Workplace violence
Violence has no place in any workplace, but sadly it can be an occupational hazard for many people. This can be employees being violent with each other or employees being attacked by clients, customers, visitors, and other stakeholders.
This safety minute topic should address what employees can do to keep themselves safe if a work situation becomes violent.
10. Why proper rest is important
Employees who are not well rested at home can be severely fatigued at work. A lack of alertness can lead to a range of health and safety issues that can affect both them and others. Encourage people to ensure they’re getting enough rest for workplace health and safety reasons and schedule regular breaks so they can recharge on the job.
11. Driver safety
Employees who are using company vehicles need to understand the importance of road and driver safety. This includes:
- The most common road hazards
- Driving in severe weather
- Safe and defensive driving practices
- Vehicle safety
- Parameters around driver fatigue
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug impairment while operating a company vehicle.
12. Reporting workplace accidents
It’s crucial that employees understand their obligations in reporting any workplace accidents or near misses so that management are aware. This helps to improve safety and is essential for legal and insurance purposes. A safety moment on this topic would give examples of accidents and near misses that should be reported and familiarize staff with the reporting procedures.
Safety moments in the workplace are a great contribution to your communications activities to build a culture of safety in the workplace. In conjunction with other communications tools, channels and strategies you can make safety front-of-mind in your organization.
To find out how DeskAlerts can help you to deliver vital safety information to staff in an engaging way that cuts through digital noise in the workplace, get in touch with our team of experts for a free demo today.
What is a good safety moment for a meeting?
A good safety moment for a work meeting is one that is topical and relevant to the people you are talking to. For example, in an office you might want to talk about ergonomics, while in a chemical plant you may want to talk about working with hazardous materials.
What's a good safety topic for work?
Good safety topics for work meetings are anything that will help to keep employees safe while on the job and should be relevant to the work that is done and the industry it is done in.
What are the 10 safety tips to be practiced in the workplace?
The top 10 safety tips for the workplace are:
- Reducing stress
- Always operate tools, equipment and machinery correctly
- Always use the appropriate personal protective equipment
- Stay sober and free from drugs in the workplace
- Understand what to do in an emergency
- Report all accidents and near misses
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Take regular breaks
- Drive safely
- Follow processes and procedures.
What is an example of safety at the workplace?
An example of safety in the workplace is identifying hazards and taking steps to remove them.