Safety Time Outs Critical Pre-Shift

Safety Time Outs are short pre-shift briefings.  The briefing helps to communicate the tasks of the day, review progress, and any hazards that are likely to be encountered.  How to handle the hazards is also covered.  And, the short meeting gives the employees a chance to ask any questions or clarifications.

It’s important to note that a ‘Time Out’ is not a ‘Toolbox Talk.’  A ‘Toolbox Talk’ is a presentation during a meeting or training to provide information on current activities or safety topics.  It is not a daily occurrence.  However, a ‘Time Out’ is a daily event.  It is a very brief encounter that helps the employee get in the right mindset before work begins.  When possible, use Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for ‘Time Out’ information.  Specific subtasks, the associated hazards and the counter-measures should all be part of the JSA.  If a JSA is not present for the specific task being performed be sure to include the following: it’s a good idea to include a recap of activities, what’s on the docket for the day and likely hazards.  Looking at a specific example helps to illuminate the format of a ‘Time Out.’

Let’s say your crew is installing lighting components.  A ‘Time Out’ should cover the following topics:

  • Visually inspect the ladder to make sure the ladder is in working order.
  • Proper ladder usage.
  • The hazards present with lighting energies.

Regular safety t are a part of every successful construction company.  Take it a step further with pre-shift ‘Time Outs.’  Document and retain ‘Time Outs’ so they can be reviewed and reused in the future.  A ‘Time Out’ is a worthwhile safety measure, in every situation!