Safety stand down is a voluntary event where the employer talk directly to the employee about Hazards, Risk and Safety generally, the aim is to foster a good safety culture in the organization and prevent accidents.
Safety stand down is used to describe a variety of activities where normal work is paused and the entire site focuses on a particular safety issue.
An example of Stand Down is; “The National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction“, by OSHA. This has been slated to take off from MAY 6-10, 2024. This is adopted to draw attention to fall hazards.
A stand down does not have to be an overly organized affair and does not need to be precipitated by a near miss or other perceived hazard.
The first National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls was organized by National Falls Campaign held in June 2014, and reached an estimated 1 million workers. The second Stand-Down was held in May 2015 and reached over 1.5 million workers!
In 2018, the stand down was held in May 7th – 11th, 2018 and in 2019 it was held in May 6th – 10th, 2019.
Who Can Participate in Safety stand-down
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
To stage a successful safety stand down, you must put a lot of things into consideration; here are ten (10) things to consider,
Step 1: Set Clear Objectives and Goals
In setting clear objectives and goals, you will have to define the purpose for the stand down and also identify specific topic and issues to be addressed.
The purpose of the Stand Down most times determines the objectives. The purpose may be due to consumers feedback, increase in near miss, regulatory citation, fines or just striving to achieve organizations best practice. This will also determine the set of employees you wish to target.
Make sure you get your purpose clear so that you can draw out realistic objectives and set a tangible goal.
Before you stage a stand down, you must sit down to set clear objectives and goal for the event. These objectives will be borne out of the need for the stand down and the expected outcome. This objective will be later used as a yard stick for measuring the success of the event.
To draw out objectives and goals you need to sit with your team to brainstorm in order to put down a tangible objectives and goals, since without it the event may just be a jamboree.
Step 2: Plan the Logistics
To stage a successful event logistics is also very important. What you will cover here include; determining the date, time and location for the event. You will also project the resources required for the event.
When this is not done, there is a very high tendency that the event will not be successful. Imagine taking a date for an event without looking at the service activity plan, there may be clash of interest on that day putting the whole event in jeopardy.
Step 3: Communicate and Promote the Safety Stand Down
The event must be communicated and promoted. Every party that should be involved in the event must be promptly informed, this will help them to plan their programs to make room for the event. They event must also be promoted, making the intended audience understand the need to be in the event and what they tend to achieve. They should be made to understand that its not just a normal routine event, but that it is important for their safety and wellbeing.
To communicate and promote will involve sending invitation and reminders to participant; also utilizing multiple communication channels to spread the news of the event.
Step 4: Develop Engaging and Relevant Content
After promoting the event, you must make the event to meet up to the hype, if not it may be difficult to gain attention of the participant through out the event. To achieve this, you must carry out research and gather verifiable information on the chosen topics, create presentations, attached videos and also create some hands-on activities. All these is to capture the interest of the participants.
Step 5: Train and Prepare Presenters
Another thing you should consider are your presenters; you need well lettered and trained presenters. If you cannot get one, you will need to provide training on effective presentation techniques for your chosen presenters. You will also have to review and refine the content of the training with your them.
Step 6: Conduct Pre-Stand Down Activities
You can also conduct pre-stand down activities to get more information on the area you want to address during the main activity. Some of the things you can do include:
- Perform safety inspections or audit on your activities or processes.
- Distribute Pre-reading materials or survey to target participants.
Step 7: Implement the Safety Stand Down
Its now time to carry out your stand down after everything has been set. Start with an introduction and overview. This will cover the objectives of the stand down, the goal and some general information.
After this, its time to present the key information and address the concerns.
Step 8: Encourage Active Participation and Engagement
During the Safety Stand Down event, participant should be encouraged to participate actively through out the event. This can be achieved by using interactive activities or demonstrations. The presenter can facilitate group discussions and questions & answer sessions.
Step 9: Collect Feedback and Evaluate the Stand Down
After the stand down there must be feedback to know how the program fared. This can be achieved by distributing surveys or feedback forms to participants to fill. The questions should be direct Yes or No ; True or False so that they will not fill stressed while answering the survey.
From here you will know if the event met the desired objectives.
When you get the survey or feedback forms, you can go ahead to analyze the data to identify areas for improvement.
Step 10: Follow-Up and Sustain the Learnings
Finally you have to follow-up and sustain the learning. This can be done by sharing key takeaways and action items from the stand down and also provide ongoing training and supports.
In conclusion, Safety Stand Down is a every important event that every organization should adopt as it enhances safety awareness, prevent accidents, build trust and generally boost safety culture in the workplace.
Following the ten (10) guidelines above will help you organize a winning Safety Stand Down event.