Three keys for making the most of OSHA’s Stand Down Week
Start with research. If you’re not comfortable with the statistics, facts, and requirements regard falls, you’re not going to be able to deliver them in a convincing manner. If you’re not comfortable delivering the information, find somebody who is. This doesn’t have to be a one-man show. Try to use real stories. Anecdotes may be just that – anecdotal – but they make a much more personal and emotional connection with workers. Stories where someone fell and was injured and died can create a connection, but be sure to also include stories where people were protected by following the proper fall protection processes.
Don’t just spout numbers. Use the stories you found to engage your workers and, if the stories have actually come from your workers, encourage them to share if they are willing. Getting them involved will help break up the session and make fall protection more personal. Senior leaders should be a part of the presentation as a show of commitment to fall prevention and safety in general. Your event is should be facilitated by an employee with an engaging personality – perhaps your best trainer.
GET EVERONE ON BOARD
Say you stand up in front of your employees telling them how important fall prevention is and how dedicated to it you are. An hour later employees get a harness from your gang box or tool room that looks like it’s been through war. They mention to your site superintendent that it appears unsafe and he tells them to quit complaining and get back to work.
Your entire message was just snuffed out.
Get your supervision on board with your message. It is important that you ensure your employees have the necessary equipment and that that equipment is properly cared for. It is important that you build a culture within your organization that says Fall Prevention – and Safety in general – is not a once-per-year special event, but a way of life.
Share this information. Let your subcontractors know. Let your colleagues know. Let your professional organizations know. Lead by example. If you are at the top of your safety game, you will raise the performance of others around you.