Weakest Link Safety Talk
Have you ever heard of the saying “you are only as strong as your weakest link”? The weakest link on a team can be a variety of people on any given day. Traditionally, the weakest link is usually considered the lazy guy or the new guy. No matter who is the weakest link on that day, they can be a huge liability for your entire team to work safely.
A new guy may not always be a liability to the safety culture of a company, but a lazy worker is almost certainly is. Lazy workers are workers who take short cuts and do not want to do the job correctly for the sake of making the task easier on themselves.
Taking shortcuts often leads to safety rules and procedures being broken. When rules and procedures are broken, the entire workforce on that job is at risk. While the shortcuts may be “small” in nature, even the smallest of injuries or incidents can have a large impact on the company as a whole.
Many industries use a company’s total recordable incident rate into account when considering bids for work. Small injuries due from taking “small shortcuts” can lead to big effects in the company’s ability keep current work and to get future work. This affects the entire workforce, not just the individual taking shortcuts.
Even the most experienced or safest worker can be the weakest link on the jobsite on any given day. We all have our bad days where our minds and attention are not completely focused on the job. Many people do not know what a coworker is dealing with at home and how it is affecting their work. It is important as individuals to take ourselves out of work when it affects our ability to do our job safely and effectively. Look out for one another and take the time to check on a coworker who seems off of their game.
Everyone has to work together to create a safe work culture where injuries and incidents are prevented every single day. Everyone from the top manager to the lowest guy on the totem pole needs to believe in working safely and working together to go home healthy to their families. Working as a team means more than just a unified belief that work safely is important. To achieve excellence in safety, a strong team is needed in every aspect of the work being completed.
-What are some things in our lives that can distract us from our work?
-How can we maintain focus and work safely if there is something affecting us outside of work?
-Talk about examples of past incidents that may have seemed small but had huge consequences for a company. If you do not have any examples, ask everyone in the meeting to think about if there were a few injuries onsite and how that would affect the site and the company as a whole.