We’ve talked in the past about death by PowerPoint; those turgid, joyless presentations where the speaker can hardly keep their own eyes open, let alone the audiences. Thankfully, more and more employers are using innovative techniques to motivate staff about the importance of health safety both inside and outside of the workplace.
One of the key tools in every H&S departments’ armoury is to a hold a Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD) – an opportunity to make health and safety front and centre in your employees minds for an entire day. In this short post, we look at the ways you can ensure your own SHAD is a success, both in terms of contents, and in the way it’s delivered…
There’s a great irony about workplace safety, in that the majority of serious injuries that befall your employees… aren’t happening in the workplace. While we tend to be very good at doing everything right over the course of the working day, our workers go home almost completely unprotected. While occupational injuries are responsible for an estimated 7.1million lost working days each year, the number of missed days caused by injuries that occur outside of the workplace are much greater. And that’s without taking into account the lost days when employees stay at home to look after injured relatives or children. In fact, children are especially vulnerable, with around half of under-fives set to attend A&E this year because of an accident! That’s why this year we’re encouraging businesses to run family focused safety and health awareness days, in order to empower staff to take key safety messages into their homes, communities and beyond…
As we’ve discussed before, motivating some staff to get excited about safety is still a challenge. No matter the number of workplace accident statistics that clearly illustrate the devastating effect preventable injuries have on our lives, sometimes it can end up feeling too abstract. While accident statistics and graphs are a great way of providing context, consider painting a broader picture with real life examples. Our RoSPA Real Life Blog is a powerful resource for showing the lasting impacts can have. By choosing a real life example about an individual whose life was changed irreparably after their child was badly hurt – or worse – can really cause your audience to stop, think and, most importantly, empower them to make safer choices.
Just as real life stories can help people visualise the reality of accidents, a well-timed video can be even more powerful, as well as helping to break up any presentation or provide a shift in tone. For example, it’s one thing to remind staff about the importance of securing heavy furniture in a child’s bedroom, but this unforgettable video will really help to bring the message home. As part of our SHAD resources packages, we provide a range of videos, which you can incorporate into your own presentations in order to help to bring your own safety and health awareness day to life.
If there’s a golden rule for running a successful awareness day, it’s to avoid the temptation to stand and present to your employees all day. It’s far better to incorporate opportunities to move around, undertake activities and group work and generally encourage your team to add their voice and share their experiences of safety – who knows, you might even learn something yourself! Again, our SHAD resources include a number of worksheets for staff and their families to complete together – a great way for your employees to kick-start the conversation about safety when they get back home.
Finally – if you haven’t guessed already – we’re very EXCITED to present a range of Safety and Health Awareness Day Resources to help facilitate your own SHAD event. Available in bronze, silver and gold packages, we’ve put together a vibrant range of posters, videos and activity sheets to give out on the day, as well as options to help you get the word out about the good work you’re doing! There’s even an opportunity for you to book your very own RoSPA speaker to come along to your workplace and speak directly to your team. Now, if that’s not a great way to make sure your event goes with a bang, I don’t know what is!