5 ways to have a successful falls awareness safety talk
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) is observing Falls Awareness Week this year during September 14–18, 2020.
It is observed that falls are responsible for a significant number of worker injuries and workplace fatalities, especially in the construction sector. In fact, slips, trips, and falls are also one of the leading causes of lost-time injuries in Ontario. Therefore, every safe and healthy workplace in Ontario should make preventing these injuries a critical goal of their health and safety program.
What’s the main objective for the falls awareness week?
The main objective during this week is to build stronger awareness of hazards that can lead to workplace falls. The MLSTD encourages businesses to participate in the falls awareness week by holding a 15-30 minutes participatory workplace discussion on falls prevention and awareness.
The IHSA has come up with a free tool-kit on falls prevention, which will be very helpful for employers to conduct safety talks.
Here are 5 effective ways of conducting safety talks for preventing falls by building awareness
Have a strong plan in place
It is recommended that you designate a coordinator who can organize your safety talk. That will an effective way of going about arranging for the safety talk. Further, this is a good time to consider involving your business owners, middle managers, subcontractors, frontline supervisors, team leaders, or others relevant workplace parties associated with your construction project in the safety talk. This will be a great way to build team bonding and accountability.
Review your program for falls prevention
This is a good time for you to consider thinking about the following:
- The types of falls that could happen at your workplace
- Identifying the areas that need improvement
- Review your current training and equipment you have provided to all your workers.
- Check if there is any scope for improvement as far as training and equipment are concerned
Create a customized safety talk that meets your workplace requirements
Analyze what information could be useful for your workplace, workers, and all those who will be participating in the safety talk. Ensure that your meeting provides all the participants with relevant information on workplace hazards, various protective methods being used, and your organization’s safety policies, health & safety goals, and key expectations.
Make your meeting positive and interactive
Ensure that you have activities and exercises that encourage all-round participation during the meeting. Be it a workplace walk-around or conducting quick equipment checks, have activities during the meeting that can increase the interest of all the participants. Further, ensure that all your activities and exercises are positive and motivational. One of the key things you must encourage during your safety talk is to get your workers to share their valuable experiences and make good suggestions for continuous improvement.
Conduct your safety talk and ensure you follow up on points discussed
Now that you have worked out your safety talk strategy, it is time for you to chalk out the date, time, length, and itinerary of your falls awareness safety talk. Don’t be shy to promote your safety talk with your employees. Share the value it can bring to them by participating in it.
Here’s what you are recommended to do for having an effective safety talk meeting:
- Ensure that minutes for the meeting are being documented
- Document the key learnings on areas of improvement identified in your fall prevention program
- Consider making the required changes and document them for conducting follow-up activities
- Communicate to your workers on how their participation directly influenced the changes made in the fall prevention program
- Get all your meeting participants to acknowledge what as discussed during the meeting
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