Safety has a reputation for being staid and serious. But when you’re sitting down for a five-minute chat with the next shift, you don’t need to harp on statistics. If anything, statistics and safety regulations would fly right past them.
A better fit? A good laugh that sticks with employees through the start of the shift and reminds them to stay safe throughout the shift.
Funny safety moments have a surprising amount of staying power. Here are a few funny safety moment ideas to try and why you should incorporate humor into your safety moments.
What Are Safety Moments?
Safety moments are one of the shortest and fastest ways for safety officers to introduce safety topics to their workforce. This is also what makes safety moments so effective.
A safety moment is a two- to six-minute safety talk on a relevant topic. It’s usually held at the start of a meeting or at the beginning of a shift.
If safety talks are a form of safety training, think of safety moments as a kind of safety booster. It’s a short conversation that gently reminds employees why safety matters to them on a day-to-day basis. Plus, safety moments provide safety topics in an approachable way for non-EHS professionals.
Why Use Humor in Safety?
Many non-EHS workers and management tend to think of safety as punitive. Safety measures are often seen as a detriment to productivity or a punishment for bad behavior.
Humor in safety works to contradict that belief.
Safety is serious, but fun isn’t forbidden. A somber mood invariably associates safety with the negative consequences of carelessness, like workplace accidents, injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. While these are important to talk about, they’re often harder for employees to relate to.
Humor encourages employees to engage with the concept of safety by getting them to think about safety in an unexpected way. If anything, it can be beneficial to get a point across.
For example, you can show an employee a statistic that says a worker gets injured every 20 seconds on the job, or you can show a cartoon sketch of someone with various injuries and a ridiculous grin with the caption, “Someone is injured on the job every 20 seconds…his name is Doug.”
The humor is precisely what allows employees to register and retain the message. The same thing is true of your safety moments.
A Few Funny Safety Moment Ideas to Try
Because safety moments are so short, the best way to incorporate humor is with a funny anecdote, a funny image, or a funny clip that gets the point across.
One safety training video out of Australia, for example, represents the risks associated with disengaged employees – by inviting the Grim Reaper to the party when a disinterested employee is fiddling with a chainsaw. It’s funny, it’s memorable, and makes the point brilliantly.
If you prefer to keep your safety moments more low-key, share a funny safety story. Better still if you can share a story of a hilarious mishap to communicate how the situation could have gone awry. If you can, share safety stories from employees (with their permission, of course).
Changing the Way You Think About Safety
Great EHS professionals know that being present with their workers is one of the best habits they can form. And what better way to be present with your workers than to share a good laugh while communicating an important point?
We hope these funny safety moment ideas inspire you to find your funny bone and talk about safety from a different angle. And if you need more tips to ensure you get your point across, make sure to check out our blog for more great posts, like this one on improving your communication skills.