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Take Five for Safety

By January 13, 2020 No Comments

Accidents and incidents often occur as a result of unplanned changes or miscommunications while carrying out a task. From unforeseen weather changes to requests that others deem as urgent, it is still important to take the proper time for working safe. Before you start an activity or run into changes that effect your work, implement the “Take Five” process to identify hazards and help reduce the potential for accidents or incidents.

Crew members gathered in a circle for a safety meeting wearing Garco high visibility vestsWhat is the “Take Five” process?

A specific process that helps identify hazards before an activity starts. Specifically, it will help you to identify potential hazards that may be encountered during the work.

How does “Take Five” work?

It is aimed at helping you think about the hazards associated with your work and it involves the following five simple steps to allow you to complete your activities safely:

  1. STOP, STEP BACK, OBSERVE | observe the work area and surrounding location for hazards
  2. THINK THROUGH THE TASK | Consider the sequence of steps involved in carrying out the task from start to finish
  3. IDENTIFY ANY HAZARDS | Identify the hazards associated with the task including any present in the immediate and surrounding work area, and hazards generated by the task itself
  4. CONTROL THE HAZARDS | If the hazard is not controlled and the work area is not safe – do not start work, report to your foreman, general foreman or superintendent, or safety department
  5. COMPLETE THE TASK | Once all control measures have been safely implemented and communicated to all individuals involved and in affected area – commence the task

When to carry out “Take Five”

Doing a “Take Five” is not limited to the time before you begin your task. It can also be done during your task to monitor the situation, and also afterwards as an evaluation and lessons learned. Some examples include the following:

Before the task:

  • Stop and think
  • Observe the work area and surroundings
  • Think through the steps of what you will be doing
  • Identify what else is happening in your work area
  • Identify any hazards within your work area
  • Speak to your foreman, general foreman, superintendent, and/or safety department if hazards are not controlled
  • Satisfy yourself that these hazards are controlled before starting the job

During the task:

  • Do you feel safe doing the task?
  • Are others around you working safely?
  • If it is not working, reassess the situation and implement a new plan

After the task:

  • Observe the work area
  • Reflect on the task performed
  • Can any improvements be made?

The above are just a few scenarios that utilizes this process. Be sure to discuss with your crew and supervisor on how best to adopt this process while still staying within the core principles of the program and your project.