Safety huddles are terrific ways to spread the word of safety and to involve all personnel, they have been used for many years in large industries particularly the mining and petrochemical industries and have statistically proven to reduce accidents. Even small consultancies can benefit from adopting the habit of convening short safety huddles.
Safety huddles are weekly safety meetings involving all personnel discussing a specific safety topic. A huddle should last for about 15 minutes and can incorporate multimedia presentations. Overly long huddles will only tire and bore the participants, particularly the larger groups.
It’s usual that a supervisor convenes the meeting and selected personnel take their turn in delivering a safety message or topic.
The ideal size for a safety huddle is 6 to 10 as this number of people allows each member to participate and to freely put forward their own ideas for discussion.
Larger groups up to about 80 personnel can be used, but individuals will be less likely to play a part and offer their own ideas or views.
Safety huddles can be held to discuss the following:
- The possible hazards of a project or section of work that is about to commence.
- A recent accident or near miss. Discuss and develop strategies to avoid further occurrences.
- Safety rules and procedures that will help prevent accidents.
- Problems concerned with off the job safety such as electrical safety, storm safety, travel safety etc.
The safety huddle convener should:
- Make a clear announcement of the time, place and reason for the huddle.
- Start on time.
- Quickly review any outstanding issues with the previous weeks huddle.
- Ensure the huddle stays on the subject matter.
- If in discussions future huddle topics arise then take note and arrange a huddle on that topic at a later date.
- Allow time for discussion and questions.