This week is National Safety Stand-Down week. May 7-11 is dedicated to encouraging employers to take the time to discuss fall prevention and other job hazards with their employees.

A stand-down can be very simple to put together for your employees. First, you are succeeding as long as time is taken to discuss workplace hazards with employees. Second, they can take the form of whatever best suits your company and employees, so start by molding your ideas around that. If you’re still feeling a little stuck, OSHA provides a list of free events for the public to participate in. See if you can find one near you.

What is a Safety Stand-Down? Simply put, a stand-down is time taken out of the work day to gather with employees and discuss fall hazards and prevention. Keep this in mind while planning.

Safety Stand-Down Checklist:

  1. Assign leaders. With each event scheduled, a leader should be assigned to manage employees and activities. Each leader should also be able to assist in gathering information and creating activities.
  2. Invite others. Consider asking those involved with the company other than employees to attend the stand-down, such as subcontractors or owners.
  3. Recognize job hazards. What hazard prevention plans are currently in place? Gather information on injuries, illnesses and fatalities in your workplace to better analyze the success of the prevention plan.
  4. Get feedback on training. Discuss training available to employees.  Take this time to introduce revisions to the training programs if needed.
  5. Evaluate equipment. What equipment do employees use regularly? Does the equipment pose hazard threats? Get employee feedback on the success of equipment currently in place and what aspects need change. It may be time for new, better equipment.
  6. Create presentations. Put information to support your stand-down into a presentation that will best aid your discussions. Consider using a toolbox topic.
  7. Put hands-on activities together. Activities can help get employees into the safety spirit and piece together the importance of hazard prevention. Try planning an ice-breaker activity to start, such as breaking up into groups to create a rescue plan.
  8. Schedule. Pick the time and day that works best for your company. Schedule the amount of time best suited for your plan.
  9. Engage employees. Market the stand-down to your employees. Consider offering incentives or providing lunch. Be sure employees know when, where and how important it is.
  10. Success. Have fun, be interactive and informative!

With these steps you are sure to have a successful stand-down. Once the stand-down is over, take the information learned to make necessary changes.