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Daily Safety Messages

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Safety training is essential to help train employees to think and behave safely on the job. In the time between safety training sessions, a lot can be forgotten. One way to keep employees focused on safety is with simple, short, daily safety messages.

Why Use Daily Safety Messages?
Some employees come to a new job with more safety or survival sense than others. Regardless of past work experiences, a person coming into a new job needs to be taught the safe way you do things. Equally important is that all employees need to be reminded the safe way of doing things from time to time. The long-term objective of safety training is to help employees learn and implement safety on the job. Safety meetings and safety training can help ingrain the safety behavior needed for the job. Adding daily safety messages to your safety training can help bridge the time between in-depth training meetings and help employees retain what they’ve learned.

Benefits of Daily Safety Messages

  1. Reinforce the safe behavior needed to do the job safely.
  2. Supplement safety training and safety meeting information, helping to drive home safe behavior.
  3. Provide an opportunity for continuous safety review.
  4. Create greater safety awareness through specific focused safety reminders.
  5. Provide focus on loss prevention areas of concern.
  6. Allow opportunities to give information and follow-up on new safety rules and regulations.

Approaches to Daily Safety Messages Content
You might ask, “What can I possibly talk about each day? My employees will get bored. Do I have time to try to come up with a new topic every day?” Whatever the concern, there are various approaches to providing daily safety messages. These include:

  • The Holistic Approach: The holistic approach teaches safety in all areas, not just the job task. In this approach, anything on safety, safe behavior, or a safe way of doing things can be the daily safety message. For example, a supervisor may one day remind the crewmembers to drive home safely. Another time a supervisor may say, “You should control your anger at all times.”
  • The Task-Oriented Approach: This approach helps the workers to concentrate on the job activity. This approach is widely used and has the merit of helping the employee to follow procedures exactly. This approach is good for complex processes and often is found in the way of procedure sheets that are checked off as the process is carried out.
  • The Topic Approach: Yet another approach is to concentrate on a specific message over a period of days. This allows the trainer to give brief safety messages on a topic that otherwise would tie workers up away from production time. Instead of giving a detailed message that may be forgotten in a few days, a brief daily safety message can help in retention of the training.

Coming Up with a List of Daily Safety Messages
Coming up with a list does not have to be difficult. Resources are found all around you. Some of these resources include:
1. Use of the accident loss report – Find out what kinds of accidents are happening, how they are happening, what body parts are being injured, what preventative measures can be taken, etc. Then prepare a list of safety messages that can be given to help prevent the injuries that you have been experiencing.
2. Use of prior safety bulletins – What topics have helped create new procedures, safety messages, and bulletins? Make a list of these topics.
3. Use of worker experience – Invite workers who are intimately experienced with their tasks and work environment to come up with lists of safety items, safety concerns, and necessary discussion topics. Review these items and prepare a list.
4. Use of supervisor experience – Invite supervisors to come up with their lists of safety favorites, safety concerns and “should dos.” Develop a master list for all to use.
5. Use of procedures – Review procedures, list where errors have occurred, and steps on which to improve. These topics can go a long way to better production and better safety.

Length of Time for Daily Safety Messages
The length of time to allot for the presentation of daily safety messages varies according to budget allowances, time limitations, goals of the safety program, etc. A daily safety message may be as brief as a one-line safety reminder, or last a couple of minutes. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind you are trying to reinforce safe behavior and keep safety in the minds of employees.

When to Have Daily Safety Messages
A good time to have safety messages is at the beginning of each shift. Whether you give the safety message at the beginning of the shift or at some other time, it is important to give the safety message while the workers are away from their regular tasks. Give them an opportunity just to think about safety.

Ways to Present Daily Safety Messages
Ways to give the daily safety message can be as varied as your creativity. Talking to the crewmembers in-person works well. However, you may not be able to get everyone together for a presentation. Some other methods for giving a daily safety message include:
1. Email a daily safety message to supervisors to pass onto their crews.
2. Give a list of safety messages to supervisors and let them give a message each day.
3. Post safety meeting messages by time clocks.
4. Have dispatchers give a daily safety message to each driver.
5. Attach a safety message to drivers’ trip folders.
6. Present the safety message over the PA system.
7. Use a calendar with a different safety message posted each day.
8. Hand out a list of safety messages that employees can sign off on as they read.

A Sample Daily Safety Message List
This sample list is presented as an example. The message may also be developed into a longer message for a daily safety session.

  • Keep exits clear.
  • Clean up grease, spills, slick spots quickly.
  • Watch out for sharp corners and edges.
  • Never carry anyone on the forklift forks.
  • Look around your equipment before your start-up.
  • Don’t twist your back while lifting.
  • Hang your coat on a hook, not the fire extinguisher.
  • Do you know where the fire extinguishers are located?
  • Pay attention to what you are doing.
  • Don’t pass or reach under a raised load.
  • Do you know the hazards of the chemical product you are using?
  • There’s no limit to what you can lose if you are unsafe.
  • Watch out for your coworkers.
  • Use the right tool for the job.
  • Is your electrical cord okay?
  • Be aware of bare wires.
  • Don’t step over it. Pick it up.
  • Watch where you put your hands.
  • Don’t use your fingers to test how sharp it is.  
  • Watch where you step.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. 
  • Is the power shut off before you work on that piece of equipment?
  • Keep electrical power boxes clear by three feet.
  • Don’t bust your knuckles when the bolt or nut comes loose.
  • A dull box cutter can be dangerous.
  • A mushroom end on a chisel can put out eyes.
  • Is the guard on your angle grinder?
  • Keep your stairway clear of objects.
  • Pull the electrical cord by the plug, not the cord.
  • Wear earplugs when you need them.
  • Does the job require eye protection?
  • Watch where you cut when you use the torch.
  • Can you see better with only one eye?
  • Dull tools can be more dangerous than sharp tools.
  • Secure your compressed gas cylinders.
  • Check your forklift at the beginning of the shift.
  • Keep exits clear.
  • Never lay an acetylene tank on its side.
  • If you drop a tool, pick it up right away.
  • Assign a place for every item and keep every item in its place.
  • Look before you back up.
  • Always use a GFCI with a power cord.
  • Clean up grease, spills, or slick spots now.
  • Where is your coworker?
  • Unless an emergency, don’t interrupt someone during hazardous work. Wait until the person stops to get their attention.
  • Keep fire extinguisher access clear.
  • Do not use temporary electrical wiring as permanent wiring.
  • Always cap your compressed gas tanks when not in use.
  • Are the tongue guard and tool rest on the bench grinder gapped properly?  (No more than 1/8” on the bottom and no more than 1/4” on the top.)
  • What is the capacity of your forklift?
  • Never place yourself under a suspended load until it is secured and blocked.
  • Are the wheels chocked before unloading or loading the trailer?
  • Never carry anyone on the forklift forks.
  • Watch out for sharp corners and edges.
  • Walk around empty pallets.  Better yet, pick them up and get them out of the way.
  • Don’t use a bucket, stand on a proper stool.
  • If you can’t see over the load on the dolly, pull the dolly behind you.
  • Never look at welding flashes.
  • If there is a chance of flying objects or splashing chemicals, wear proper eye protection.
  • Have you followed lockout/tagout procedures?
  • Where is the MSDS? Have you read it?
  • Does the container need a label?
  • Store respirators in a plastic bag or other container to keep them free of dirt and contamination.
  • Do you need a hot work permit?
  • Are incompatible chemicals stored properly?  20 feet apart from each other?
  • Don’t skip rungs when climbing up or down a ladder.
  • Is the ground broken off the electrical plug?
  • Use three points of contact when climbing up or down a ladder.
  • When do you need fall protection?  (Above six feet for general safety/above 10 feet for construction)
  • Tie off a ladder to keep it from slipping or falling.
  • Don’t wear jewelry around moving equipment.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing around moving equipment.
  • That ring on your finger could be dangerous.
  • If you are working around a forklift, where is it?
  • If you are operating a forklift, where are the pedestrians?
  • Don’t use compressed aird to clean off unless you have a safety nozzle on the airline.
  • If your safety glasses are scratched, replace them.
  • Use protective gloves when attending to an injury.
  • Illegal drugs on the job can be dangerous.
  • Prescription drugs on the job can be dangerous.
  • Over-the-counter drugs on the job can be dangerous.
  • Look up before climbing a ladder. Look down before going down the ladder.
  • Park your forklift with the forks down on the ground.
  • Don’t give a friend or a stranger a ride on your forklift.
  • Check your chemical gloves for leaks before you put them on for work.
  • Is the person in the mirror safety conscious?
  • Are you safe to be around?
  • If you don’t know how to do a job safely, ask.
  • No question about safety is stupid.
  • If you can’t see over a load on the dolly, walk backwards and look in the direction you are going.
  • If two or more of you are carrying a load, don’t back up over something.
  • If you don’t know how to do it, get help.
  • If you don’t remember the correct way, ask. 
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Check your hoist before you use it?
  • Is the sling damaged? Replace it.
  • The guard on skill saws should never be tied up out of the way.
  • Never un-jam a stapler with the air or power on.
  • Cover all floor surface openings properly.
  • Ladders should extend three feet above a landing.
  • Report damaged equipment immediately.
  • Working up high? Put your tools in a bucket and pull it up with a rope.
  • Vertical reinforcing steel should be capped on the top end.
  • Wear a hard hat when there is a possibility of falling or flying objects, or being struck by something.
  • If you have to stand in one spot for a period of time, rest one foot on something a few inches higher than the other to reduce back strain. 
  • Keep your walking area clear of slip/trip hazards such as candy wrappers, tools, work debris.
  • Going on break? Where have you left your tools?
  • Climbing in the cab, use the steps and the handholds. Do the same when getting out.
  • Look around your equipment before you start it up.
  • Never take the chance. Don’t pass under or reach under a raised load.
  • Taking chances with unsafe actions isn’t worth it because you can lose too much. There’s no stop limit to what you can lose if you are unsafe.
  • Watch out for your coworkers.
  • Do you know the hazards of the chemical product you are working with?
  • If the floor is shiny, it could be wet.
  • If you carry something sharp, watch out for those around you.
  • Meat cutters, bench grinders, skill saws, if it needs a guard, keep it on.
  • Store acids, corrosives, and flammables 20 feet from each other. 
  • If your equipment is making unusual noises or vibrations, stop and have it checked out.
  • Keep brooms, mops, shovels, etc. stored out of the way.
  • Be safe today.
  • Check it out before you lift.  If it’s too heavy, get help.
  • If you don’t remember how to do it, get help.
  • Don’t twist while lifting. 
  • Pay attention to what you are doing.
  • Spill something? Clean up immediately.
  • See something unsafe? Correct it now!
  • Picking up or carrying a box? Watch out for staples.
  • Don’t reach back over your shoulder to grab the yellow pages or some other object.
  • If it has emergency stops, or brakes, check them out before starting full operation.
  • Never block the exits, even partially.

Whether brief or long, daily safety messages help companies change behavior and reinforce safe practices. Give it a try.

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
385.351.8103

Ask a Safety Consultant

https://www.osha.gov
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.

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