Last edited 08 Sep 2016

Safety briefing for construction workers


[edit] Introduction

There is a legal requirement under CDM and other regulations, to consult with and engage workers to ensure they are fully aware of the risks and hazards they face on construction sites.

Safety briefings can help ensure that workers consider health and safety in the workplace. They are short talks that deal with the health and safety hazards and risks that workers may face. By delivering a daily safety briefing, a supervisor can ensure workers have a good health and safety culture and help encourage them to report potential failures or hazards.

All workers, including sub-contractors and key supply chain personnel should attend briefings.

[edit] Effective communication

In order to communicate an effective safety briefing, the following points should be considered:

  • Audience: If many of the workers are not native English speakers, consider other methods to communicate the message, such as through diagrams or pictures.
  • Tone and pace of delivery: Vary the tone and keep a slow pace.
  • Simplicity: Maintain a simple language and use straightforward words and phrases.
  • Maintain positivity: Keep focused on how workers can create a healthy and safe working environment.
  • Allow for questions: This will help ensure that listeners have understood the points communicated.
  • Duration: Keep the briefing short to ensure that listeners take the information in.
  • Key delivery messages: Repeat the key points at both the start and end of the briefing.
  • Repetition: During a briefing, only between 25-50% of the message will be retained by the listeners and therefore key points could be documented on notice boards.

Subject areas that might be covered in a safety briefing could include:

The SLAM acronym is an important reminder to workers that they should:

  • STOP if they consider that the activity they are undertaking, or about to undertake contravenes health and safety.
  • The worker should LOOK at other individual’s around them and if necessary, remind them of the appropriate controls.
  • Workers should ASESS the situation and report it to their manager or supervisor.
  • Workers should MANAGE health and safety by wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and through the application of other appropriate controls.

The Health and Safety Executive website has a wealth of information and guidance on all aspects of health and safety.

[edit] Toolbox talk

Safety briefings differ from toolbox talks in that a toolbox talk is a presentation on a specific site safety issue to provide instructions, information, and continuous training to help prevent accidents, ill-health and environmental damage. According to the Health and Safety Executive, they ‘…allow you and your workers to explore the risks of specific health and safety issues on your site, and think about ways to deal with them. Toolbox talks should focus on a single topic and be held regularly for greatest impact’

See toolbox talk for more information.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.

[edit] External references