1 minute safety talks
What can you get out of a 1 minute safety talk?
Safety talks are one of the easiest ways to foster better safety practices, processes and outcomes on your sites or in your workplace.
Safety talks are most common in site and project-based works like construction, oil and gas, mining and other industrial style operations.
These safety meetings typically take 5 or 10 minutes, with a clear focus on a particular area of safety which is relevant to this project, this site or a recent event (where applicable). But there are some companies who now favour even shorter and sharper safety talks around the 1 or 2 minute mark.
These 1 minute safety talks don't replace formal safety training, but they do serve an important role on many sites.
While safety should never be rushed or second priority to production or progress, a short safety meeting or safety talk is always better than none at all.
You and workers can still get a lot of value out of a 1 minute safety talk. One of the major benefits of any safety talk is simply making people more aware and considerate of safety. In 60 seconds, you can surface an important issue and get people thinking about it.
From a company and supervisor perspective, doing a 1 minute safety talk allows the company to flag a specific issue, and create new dialogue around that issue. While the talk is framed as 1 minute, the safety talk conductor should encourage interaction and conversation around the topic which can take the meeting beyond 1 minute, and also set the stage for further investigation into that issue.
If the 1 minute talk surfaces a specific problem or interesting development, it can be taken offline and discussed with management or the safety manager to action. If you do this regularly, then you will be getting constant and reliable feedback and suggestions about many different elements of safety every day.
The 'best' 1 minute safety talks
The main point of difference between a 1 minute safety talk and any other safety talk or safety meeting is of course the time constraint. You certainly don't have the time to conduct training or walk around site for very long.
But 1 minute is still long enough for most safety topics. While you can't cover as much detail - and definitely can't touch on any related topics - you can still cover one specific safety element in decent detail.
Some of the best 1 minute safety talks are:
Common safety mistakes - Cover a few of the common safety mistakes people make. Use real-world examples and statistics to back these common mistakes up and try to ensure that you mitigate the chance of them happening on your watch.
Hazard communication - Hazards are everywhere in industries like construction and oil and gas. Reinforcing the process and procedure around hazard communication is one of the best ways to get people identifying more hazards and making better decisions around and about hazards.
Working at heights safety - Working at heights is the most common cause of injury and fatalities all over the world. Drawing attention to quick and easy safety wins like working at heights permits and general safety procedures around working at heights is a great way to spend your 1 minute. You may focus on ladder safety during one of your talks and working on roofs in another.
Electrical safety - Electrical safety is another safety topic which can never be talked about enough. The other great thing about covering electrical safety in a 1 minute safety talk is that electrical safety is applicable to everyone - and yet many people don't know it very well.
Fire safety - Fires are an ever-present danger on many worksites, and can be catastrophic on oil and gas sites and many others. Touching on what to do in the event of a fire, where to assemble and other important procedures can be the difference between life and death.
General safety housekeeping -
General safety housekeeping can be a pretty broad topic (broader on sites with poor safety management). But you can tick of a few housekeeping items in a 1 minute safety talk. Things like:
- Keeping site clean
- Emergency exits
Weather - Weather is something which you can't control, but you can make people more aware of it. Discussing health and safety issues like heat stroke as well as how to deal with rain and wet conditions can prepare people for those outlier weather days.
Traffic safety - Traffic and vehicles cause countless incidents on sites, partially because of how complacent people have become around driving and vehicles. Keeping vehicle and traffic safety top of mind and covering what people think they know is a great way to reduce incidents.
Workplace stress and wellness - Workplace stress, mental health and wellness are all becoming increasingly important in workplaces all over the world, and industrial sites are no different. Often all it takes for people is knowing that people are listening (or willing to listen), so this is a perfect 1 minute safety talk.
These are all good ideas for 1 minute safety talks, but the most important part of your topic choice is that it is relevant and timely for your workers. Workers stay most engaged with anything when it's applicable to them. Try to keep talks focused on recent events, current activities and other relevant detail.
How can you possible document, share and get more value out of 1 minute safety talks?
One of the main benefits for companies who choose to engage in 1 minute safety talks comes from the fact that they can document and track the different safety topics they have talked about and flag specific issues brought up during the talk to management so improvements can be made.
This makes an organisation better at knowing what to talk about and what to train people on when it comes to safety, and ensures that they are getting first-hand information about safety from site.
But how can a supervisor possibly document and organise all of these 1 minute safety talks? It's hard enough covering any safety topic in 1 minute - without having to document and share it back to the office.
The easiest way to do this well is to us a safety meeting app.
An app like this enables a supervisor or talk conductor to create a new digital form every day for each 1 minute safety talk, to document down important talking points, get attendees to sign off on their attendance in seconds, and then all of these records are instantly synced to the cloud.
Instead of rushing to grab paper, getting a bunch of illegible signatures and names, and then rushing back to the office to get it scanned and uploaded, the safety talk supervisor can get all of this done digitally.
All of the 1 minute safety talk records stay organised and searchable in the company, project or team database, so that the supervisor, safety manager or other responsible person can look over them or look back at them at any time.
Try this app to capture your 60 second safety talks.
Are 1 minute safety talks enough?
Of course not. 1 minute safety talks are not designed to make up the majority of your safety procedures, processes or efforts.
1 minute safety talks are a great way to keep safety top of mind for your workers, to foster a culture of safety whereby people are regularly exposed to the importance of safety, and to create an environment where continuous safety improvement is an expectation.
There will always be a place for formal safety training, proper safety meetings and better safety management systems, but 1 minute safety talks are a fun and low-friction way to get workers and teams more exposed to the importance of safety on a more regular basis.
People in 80+ countries use this safety management software to better manage project and site safety.