Keeping Safety Top of Mind
Construction Safety Week is upon us and it’s time to continue our pledge for safety. This week, let’s emphasize the 2018 mantra: we are stronger and safer together. Use this week to bring colleagues, family, and friends together to discuss safety; embodying safety as a value and carrying it forward into everyday culture.
The Power of Safe Choices is this year’s Construction Safety Week theme. By actively making safe choices every day, workers, employees, and leaders create a safe work environment. In turn, the safe environment leads to a positive impact on their colleagues, company, and their family and friends.
Actively making safe choices is a never-ending practice at Sunbelt Rentals. Meetings with four or more members start with a safety moment. Safety moments vary far and wide from jobsite safety, personal stories, new products that can improve safety, or newsworthy topics that should be incorporated into our personal lives.
Whereas safety moments elevate a quick tip, a Toolbox Talk offers in depth training in various safety categories. These meetings focus on safety topics related to the specific job and are generally conducted at the job site. Toolbox Talks are effective methods to refresh workers' knowledge, cover last minute safety checks, and exchange information with the experienced workers. These talks are also intended to facilitate health and safety discussions on the job site as well as promote safety culture.
Here are 10 ideas for Toolbox Talks you can pursue:
- Working safely in the heat and preventing heat stress
- Aerial lift safety and preventing falls
- Back safety for construction workers
- Chemical safety for facility maintenance workers
- Commercial driver safety
- Confined space escape and rescue
- Silica dust safety
- Emergency preparedness: emergency chain of command
- Learn from near misses
- Check load capacity safety
In addition to safety moments and Toolbox Talks are Safety Stand-Down events. Per OSHA, A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Stand-downs can focus on "Fall Hazards" as well as reinforce the importance of "Fall Prevention.” If companies are not exposed to fall hazards, employers can use this time to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face.
Here are a few suggestions for future safety stand-downs:
- Conduct a live inspection of all personal fall protection equipment as a meeting and include new equipment on hand to replace defective equipment found
- Read and discuss the manual provided with the personal fall protection harness, lanyard, and self-retracting lanyard (SRL)
- Conduct a meeting on how to put together a proper scaffolding, rolling scaffolding with guardrails, and proper casters
- Discuss proper and improper 5,000 lbs. anchor points and where they are on your site
- Identify specific fall areas at your site and the proactive measures taken to prevent a fall
Looking for an “Outside-of-the-toolbox” idea to engage your teammates, family, and friends around safety? Construction Safety Week suggests you post your pledge to safety on your personal social media site. Their post example features a picture of a family with two children. The father pledges to "always use the proper equipment so the job gets done right and I make it home safe to my family." As a business operator, you too can make the pledge, or feature an employee’s pledge.
As you see others posting about safety, engage and keep the conversation active. By doing so, we become stronger and safer together. To stay in the conversation across social media, use or find hashtags #SafetyWeek, #MySafetyWeek, #MySafetyPledge, and #StandDown4Safety.