Whether you call them toolbox talks, tailgate talks, or anything else, there’s no greater tool to reinforce workplace safety than taking five minutes of your time and talking to your workers about a specific facet of keeping safe while on the job.
Avoiding workplace injury through education is one of the best ways to prevent accidents from happening and keeping production humming along, and these short, sweet, and to the point safety talks are perfect for getting the point across.
There are any number of 5 minute safety talks and topics you can discuss with you and your employees. Here’s a list of some of the best ones you can use in your own production facility.
Back Pain and Injury
Workers in production and manufacturing facilities often find themselves lifting moderately heavy objects, either from a shelf or table to the floor and vice versa.
As part of their daily grind, many workers might not give lifting one of these objects much of a thought, but it takes just one instance of lifting something wrong for a worker to throw their back out. Make sure you stress safe lifting techniques with your employees — i.e. lifting with your legs instead of your back and asking for help for extremely heavy or cumbersome loads — and you’ll help prevent injuries that could easily sideline your best workers for weeks.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
When it comes to workplace accidents and injuries, slips, trips, and falls easily take the cake. Reminding your workers that they can keep themselves from losing their balance and ending up in a crumpled heap on the production floor can help minimize the number of safety-related injuries.
When you combine it with reminders about ladder safety, wearing proper footwear that provide protection and grip, or even simply cleaning up after themselves to remove any possible clutter or trash that could lead to someone else having a tumble.
Even stressing workers’ need to pay more attention to where they’re walking can help improve workplace safety.
Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into your productivity like your entire production line coming down with the flu.
It’s important to keep your workforce healthy, and that means encouraging employees to stay home when they have cold or flu-like symptoms as standard policy; this prevents the rest of your workforce from getting sick.
Having your workers keep shared surfaces and workspaces clean and disinfected between shifts and encouraging them to follow good hygiene habits while on the job can go a long way in preventing the spread of diseases and illnesses.
Practicing Safe Work Habits
A production floor that has strong safety protocols is one that has a lower likelihood of an accident occurring — but only if these protocols are reinforced. Stressing how important it is for your workers to practice safe work habits helps drive home the seriousness of adherence to those safety standards.
Stressing things like alertness, respect for machinery, only operating devices that a worker has received training for, using the right systems and tools, and wearing appropriate work clothing and properly using personal protection devices as needed can all contribute to better overall safety awareness in your workforce.