Struggling for an Idea for a Safety Presentation?
Safety presentations can either bore an audience to sleep or provide the tools and knowledge to improve the overall safety program. There is rarely an in between. Whether you are a full-time safety professional or a supervisor who has safety responsibilities, you may find yourself tasked with having to put together a safety presentation with no clue of what to present on.
Like many of you reading this, the hardest part for me is coming up with a topic I want to speak about. The good news is there is an endless amount of topics you can choose to talk about when discussing workplace safety. In this article, I will discuss five different ideas for PowerPoint or Prezi-based safety presentations. All of the ideas are based on free information that is provided on this website. The topics are just expanded on to turn them from an informal safety talk to more of a professional presentation.
Five Ideas for Safety Presentations at Work for Your Next Safety Meeting
How Observant are You?
This is a safety talk that I wrote that I really think is good for audience engagement and works for many different audiences. Read the safety talk here and then continue reading the rest of this summary. In short, you use a dollar bill to reinforce the fact of how easy it is to miss the fine details of something we see almost every day. It engages the audience by asking them to provide you with details of a dollar bill.
The audience almost always provides a minimal amount of details from memory. Even after you show them a dollar bill they will only state a few additional obvious details. Name off very fine details that they are not looking at and then use this exercise to relate it back to the idea of how we see our work areas every single day.
If they are missing dozens of details on a six inch dollar bill, what are they missing while at work? The same can be said with the observations they write down on their JSAs. Use the exercise to show that there is many different observations and hazards that can be written down for any one task. After the exercise you can go into how the individual workers can improve their observations of the work area or their JSAs.
You can also take real photos of work areas and discuss the hazards in the photos. Another idea is to ask for stories or experiences of commonly looked over hazards in the workplace. There are many different ways to expand on this short exercise.
The Idea of the “Large Ripple”
This is probably my favorite idea to pass onto my guys in the field. In my field we are a project-based business meaning we only work with a small percentage of the whole company on our jobsite. I feel that it is often overlooked that what we do at our site, good or bad, can have a great effect on the company as a whole.
I call this idea the “large ripple”. You can find an article about the large ripple here. Many times, we stress how an injury or incident will affect the INDIVIDUAL, the INDIVIDUAL’s ability to work, the INDIVIDUAL’S family, etc. Well what about everyone else in the company?
Sounds counter intuitive or weird to even tell someone right? Let me explain. If an individual feels that his/her choice to take risks and cut corners only affects him/her they may actually be MORE tempted to work unsafe. Reinforcing the idea that we not only count on one another to stay safe, but we also count on each other to work safe so the business can continue is an interesting angle to approach. When the company thrives, everyone continues to work and have job security.
When individuals begin to choose to work unsafe, it not only affects them, it also affects their friends at work no matter how many miles they are from where an incident occurs.
S.O.R.T. Your Way to a Safer Workplace
S.O.R.T. stands for Stop, Observe, Recognize, and Take Ownership. You can find the S.O.R.T safety talk here. You can use the acronym to discuss steps to complete a thorough inspection of the work area prior to starting work. I used this as part of one of my safety presentations and incorporated the tools that have been established by both our client and our company for each of the four steps. For example, a JSA could fall under “Observe” and training could fall under “Recognize” as in recognize hazards. The steps are not ground breaking, but it serves as a good model to break down the process and walk through observations.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as it Relates to Safety
This is an article I wrote a few months back about how the Hierarchy of Needs can be related to workplace safety. In short, it relates how small considerations for the employees can translate to a safer workplace. If employees are worried about things like where to use a bathroom or if they will have time to eat, their mind is not focused on work.
As management, there are many things we can do so that employees satisfy their physiological needs (Maslow’s lowest level of the hierarchy) to help them focus on higher levels of personal fulfillment. While I only discuss the lowest level of the hierarchy in my article, every level could be related back to safety in some aspect.
The target audience for this talk is more of a management/supervisor level who can take the message and make improvements at their site for the employees. They can also take the message and make it a focus point for employees to recognize and address how these basic needs can interfere with their ability to fully work safe.
Success is the Fulfillment of Potential
While this can be a personal mantra, the idea also applies to workplace safety. Every company ultimately strives for zero injuries and zero property damage incidents on a recurring annual basis. While that can be a tough target to hit, it can be the company’s potential in the realm of workplace safety.
The idea that success is the fulfillment of potential can be further discussed at the individual level. From there, cast out to how the individual level affects the company on a macro scale. If everyone is fulfilling their potential when it comes to being the safest and most efficient worker they can be, everyone wins.
It is important to drive home the point that fulfillment of potential in just one area does not make successful. Someone who is the best dozer operator in the company but cannot get along with others is less successful than an above average operator who is able to communicate and work with others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but being self-aware of how we can improve as a person is critical to success. This idea can be paired with the larger ripple discussion to make for an effective and different safety presentation.
I hope one of the five topics above has got your wheels spinning on different routes you can take on your next safety presentation. Look at all the safety talks or longer articles in the Safety Professional Blog for additional ideas. Any of these ideas can be paired with other ideas to make an effective presentation. Even if you have a certain topic you have to cover think outside the box to refresh them. Conducting safety presentations does not have to be stressful!
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on any of these topics. Sign up for my mailing list below to receive useful resources for safety talks. Please share if you found this or other articles useful!