A moment is all it takes…… is the theme for this year’s Safe Work Month in Australia.

Please take a moment to reflect on the statement. Then complete the sentence. A moment is all it takes…… for what?

To lose concentration.

For a child to run out on the road.

To crash a bike.

To sustain a life changing injury.

To leave a swimming pool gate open.

To leave a boiling pot unattended.

For a fatal accident.

A moment, and its ripple effect, can make such a difference to the lives of many. The purpose of this article is to provide some ideas on how we can proactively use a “safety moment” to help safeguard ourselves and those around us, including our families and our co-workers.

Many companies we work with utilise “Safety Moments” as part of their health and safety practices. A Safety Moment can be used very effectively at the start of a meeting, or shift, to act as a “Switch On” prompt to remain focused. A big danger is that they become a bit ho-hum and just a process. It is incumbent on each of us to maximise their value, because they can make a difference.

At Actrua, we like to call them “Switch On Shares”. We believe a good Switch On Share includes three basic components:

  1. Story
  2. Point
  3. Link

A good story will always get people’s attention. It is also easier to remember. Importantly it must have a point. Why am I telling this story? If it is too long, not relevant or just told for the sake of complying with a process, then a great opportunity is lost. Our recommendation is to be short, sharp and create a link that draws relevance to the audience. This is a great way to keep people’s attention and to be remembered.

One of our team members, Richard, shared a great Switch On Share recently. I still remember it vividly. Why? I think because it was delivered with great emotion and care for those involved. Richard also shared photos, which helped to reinforce and visualise the story.

The Story.

Richard’s grown up son was riding a bicycle down the street with his own two year old son on the back. A surprise attack by four swooping magpies resulted in evasive action. (For international readers, a magpie is a large black and white bird that gets very territorial during breeding season). Unfortunately, the evasive action resulted in a severe crash on the bitumen road. Richard’s son bore the brunt of it to protect the two year old boy. Richard shared some quite graphic photos of the resulting injuries that included severe and deep grazing to knees and forearms. What about the child? This was the question on everyone’s mind as they listened. Fortunately, he only sustained the most minor of grazes to his cheek.

The Point.

Richard made two main points through the telling of the story. The first was about having your “safety radar” on and being aware of the environment and surroundings. The second was the importance of being prepared and using the personal protective equipment. In this instance bike helmets on both riders and a good quality child seat used properly, potentially saved a life that day.

The Link.

The importance of environmental awareness, preparation and protective equipment are relevant to each of us every day. Whether it is travelling to work, crossing the street, or taking our child for a bike ride. Switch On your Safety Radar.

We have included a graphic of our Safety Radar poster on our Resources page. We encourage you to utilise the graphic in your presentations, or as a poster, and promote it as a topic or catalyst for some great safety moments.