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Using Data to Plan Effective Safety Stand-Downs

During the National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down, from May 8-12, OSHA encourages employers and workers to hold discussions, demonstrations, and training sessions related to safety, hazard recognition, and fall prevention.

However, sometimes even the best ideas are met with objections. Below are two common objections/challenges you will likely encounter when planning a Safety Stand-Down – and what you can do to overcome them and plan effective Stand-Downs at your organization.

However, sometimes even the best ideas are met with objections. Below are two common objections/challenges you will likely encounter when planning a Safety Stand-Down – and what you can do to overcome them and plan effective Stand-Downs at your organization.

  1. “We talk about safety all the time, so why do we need to do a Stand-Down?”

Here’s why it’s important to go above and beyond this week:

  • You can never talk about safety enough.
    Focused and meaningful conversations on a topic keep it top of mind for your workers.
  • Putting safety before production shows commitment.
    Holding these discussions, along with dedicating time and resources for proper training and equipment, will show employees that safety is priority and inspire them to take it seriously.
  1. “What should we talk about? And when should we hold the sessions?”

There isn't a magic formula, but ask yourself these questions when planning Stand-Down sessions:

  • During which day of the week do the most injuries occur?
  • At what time of day are employees more likely to get hurt?
  • What is your most common type of injury? What is the cause of that injury? And, how can this injury be prevented?

Don't just use your instincts to answer questions – use insights drawn from analysis of your incident data. Let your data guide the planning process and use it to emphasize the importance of safety during the talks themselves to maintain participant engagement.

Your ability to answer these questions and hold effective Stand-Downs will rely on your company’s effectiveness in managing incidents and tracking incident data. Having accurate information as well as the right analytical tools will help you identify your program’s biggest issues and build prevention strategies.

Here are some examples of how data can help you plan your Stand-Down strategy:

A heat map like the one below shows you what shifts have the highest number of recordable injuries.

Work Shift.png

The same heat map with a different data set can show you what body part is most prone to injury, what type of injury is most likely to occur, and so on.

Nature of Injury or Illness.png

Injured Body Part.png

Using these insights, a safety manager can see that the morning crew likely has the highest need for training and discussions, and that the Stand-Downs should focus on protecting the upper body. They can also adjust the subject matter of the sessions based on the most common injury types - lacerations, bruises / contusions, and sprains / strains.

Did you and your team go above and beyond for safety this week? If so, what process did you use to plan your Safety Stand-Down?

 

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