A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from

February 21, 2017

Safety Training Tip: Remember PEOPLE

If you're a safety pro inspecting a worksite, do the workers there see you as the management "safety cop" or as part of their team who can help them stay safe on the job? How you present yourself can make all the difference. 

The safety pros at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have penned an article that can help you get better cooperation from your work teams - and better safety compliance, too. Here are some key points:

Words Don't Mean Much

Humans do far more “listening” with our eyes than our ears. Scientists say that only about 7 percent of messages we receive comes through the words. Another 28 percent comes from the way those words are delivered. But a full 55 percent of messages are conveyed through the speaker’s body language. So when a safety pro speaks to a group of workers, the nonverbal components of the message can have a greater impact than what’s actually being said. The professional’s physical appearance, the body language, the tone and the pace of the voice determine how carefully the workers will listen and how much they’ll retain.

Remember You’re Dealing with PEOPLE

PEOPLE is a handy acronym that makes it easy to remember the six key elements of body language:

P stands for Posture and Gestures. Nonverbal communications are transmitted through the eyes, face, hands, arms, legs and posture. Open, extended arms indicate acceptance, while crossed arms tend to signal defensiveness and tightly crossed legs signal disagreement.

E refers to Eye Contact. When you look someone else in the eyes, they’re more likely to perceive you as an honest person who is interested in what they have to say. When people are uncomfortable or uneasy, they tend to avoid eye contact.

O is for Orientation. How and where you stand sends strong messages to workers. Standing among the workers, in the middle of the group or along the edges, sends a message that the safety person is a peer, not a supervisor. It makes the crew more open to what’s being said and more likely to speak up or raise concerns.

P refers to Presentation. How do you deliver your message? Far too many safety professionals use the classroom model and lecture, which sends the message that they think they’re smarter. Safety briefings and toolbox talks should be conversations. Ask questions and encourage comments.

L is shorthand for Looks. Your dress can distance you from the crew and emphasize the differences between you and them. Small things can send huge messages. For example, well-worn work boots sends a better message than polished loafers. Wearing or carrying appropriate PPE for the jobsite suggests that you’re familiar with the work that’s being performed and reinforces the idea that the company takes safety seriously.

E addresses how you Express Emotion. People who are visibly enthusiastic seem to work harder, longer and more accurately than their more somber counterparts. Enthusiasm is contagious, so if you approach the crew with an enthusiastic attitude, you’ll start to see it rub off. If you act hesitant, the people you encounter will reflect that emotion.


February 7, 2017

Workplace Housekeeping Tips to Reduce Accidents

put things back in their proper places
Each year thousands of workers are injured on the job from accidents caused by poor workplace housekeeping. It takes more than cleanliness to maintain a safe workplace. Use these tips form the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to help ensure a safer environment for your workers.

What Makes a Good Housekeeping Program?

A good housekeeping program plans for proper storage and efficient movement of materials from point of entry to exit. It includes a material flow plan to reduce unnecessary handling, which also reduces injury risks. The plan should ensure work areas are not used for storage and that tools and materials are accessed as needed and returned after use. It could include investing in extra bins, shelving or more frequent disposal.

Poor Housekeeping Hazards

Consequences of poor housekeeping include:
  • Tripping over loose objects
  • Being hit by moving objects
  • Slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces
  • Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material
  • Cutting, puncturing or tearing skin on projecting objects
  • Electrical or other fires
  • Restricted egress in an emergency

Planning a Good Housekeeping Program

help keep the plant clean and safe
  • Involve workers and safety committee members to understand the flow of work. Usually workers have great suggestions for workplace improvements.
  • Consider your building footprint, plant layout and the movement of materials within the workplace.
  • Have standardized policies and procedures that everyone understands and follows.
  • Train workers how to work safely - and how to protect other workers.
  • Integrate cleaning and organization into jobs, not just at the end of the shift.
  • Identify and assign responsibilities for clean up during the shift, day-to-day cleanup, waste disposal, removal of unused materials and inspection to ensure cleanup is complete.
  • Include supervision and inspection to allow any deficiencies in the program to be identified proactively.

Workplace housekeeping is a shared responsibility. Everyone in the workplace can play a part to keep each other safe.

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