"I knew it was wrong but..." Accident investigators hear that statement over and over again in the aftermath of workplace incidents.
Sure, there are incidents that occur because workers really didn't know they were doing something unsafe or really didn't know the rules. But such incidents are in the minority. Most incidents and injuries are not the result of lack of knowledge. Most are the result of ignoring the knowledge.
On the highway we know we shouldn't speed - but we do because we're in a hurry. On the job we know the safety precautions to take but we ignore the precautions because there's extra effort or time involved.
We take shortcuts because it's easier. We let things slide because we've done the job hundreds of times and there's never been a problem. That's when incidents happen. And sometimes we (and our families) pay for the rest of our lives.
The toolbox safety talks in this Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association Inc. (SCSA) series are not designed to teach safety - except at the most basic level. The real purpose is to help bring these topics up at safety meetings in a clear, brief, and non-threatening way. The SCSA safety talk series is designed to reinforce safety knowledge and management's commitment to "doing it the right way" and "making safety a way of life".
Member companies in the SCSA are free to use these materials in any way that makes sense for that company. In general, however, the following approach can help your safety meetings be more effective:
Planning a Safety Meeting
Conducting a Safety Meeting
As you proceed into and through each of these safety meetings, there are some questions that you should ask yourself:
As the presenter, you are the person that will set the tone during these meetings. If you treat the information seriously, your team/crew members will take it seriously.
Ask more experienced workers to assist in the presentation of safety topics.
It's part of your job to make sure that these meetings emphasize the right attitude.
It's no joke - you might be responsible for saving someone's life.
Safety topics are a good way to present safety information and to refresh people about the importance of doing it right. Make sure everyone knows you support the safe way to get the job done.