When a player is injured on the field, it is customary for the remaining players to take a knee or to stand quietly in respect. They do this for multiple reasons: to signal to the crowd that an injury has occurred, to cease unnecessary commotion while focus is brought to the injured, and perhaps to give a moment of silence while sending positive thoughts and prayers for a favorable outcome.
When a sports injury occurs, the commissioner analyzes the cause of injury, the potential harm, and the danger it reflects on the other players. Some game rules are even altered to protect the players’ safety in future scenarios.
A safety stand-down is a bit like that. It is a purposeful gathering of employees to emphasize the importance of safety and to increase awareness of fall-related accidents. 2018 marks the fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down created by OSHA, and is set to take place during May 7–11 this year.
The National Safety Stand-Down is geared toward fall prevention for organizations exposed to fall hazards. If your company doesn’t have a high risk of fall hazards, this is still a great way to discuss any safety topics that are an issue for your environment.
This year, you can begin creating more effective safety meetings by starting with a safety stand-down.
How can your organization participate?
OSHA encourages employers and team leaders to pause during the workday in order to educate employees on pressing safety information. You can do this by presenting information on common fall hazards, proper PPE use, and other on-the-job safety precautions; or you can use this time to lead demonstrations, reinforce company standards, or lead employees in reducing hazards in their own work areas.
If your company does not have the time to pull everyone in a room or lead a demonstration, try Ving. You can deliver microburst lessons on fall safety every morning that are less than 5 minutes.
How can this improve your safety meetings?
Timeliness: You can arrange a safety stand-down any time—you don’t have to limit yourself to the national awareness week to take advantage of this strategy. Create more effective safety meetings by delivering the information at a time that is more relevant and relatable: on the job and around the hazards.
Variation: Switching up the style of your safety meetings will keep them fresh and diverse, which means employees are more likely to pay attention and less likely to become bored. Taking these things into consideration can improve employee engagement and reduce accidents.
Practicality: Real hands-on experience is a great way to teach. By using your environment and getting employees involved, the theoretical knowledge is put into practice for a more concrete example.
Even if your organization is small and it’s not considered a dangerous line of work, little safety reminders are always important. Whether employees are repairing a roof or replacing a light bulb, falls can lead to serious injuries. That’s what safety stand-downs are all about. Take the time to educate employees so that they are equipped with the tools to prevent accidents before they can occur.
For more information on participating in the National Safety Stand-Down this year, click here. There you can find more detailed information and resources such as posters, participation certificates, training materials, and ideas from previous years’ Stand-Downs.