If you work in the health, safety and environment area, you’ve surely heard about daily safety dialogue (DSD). Yet did you know how important they are and how to use this technique to raise employee awareness about good safety practices while enhancing the EHS culture at your company?
The DSD consist of no more than a quick daily chat that should take around 10 minutes at most. It is usually done by company leaders, such as managers, technicians or engineers, taking place before the shift starts.
How can Daily Safety Dialogue (DSD) be implemented?
If your organization is interested in using the DSD, but has yet to implement them, first write a memo to employees on what this tool is and how it works. Clearly state the time and place where meetings will be held.
To make this a routine, it is important to set a fixed time for the DSD to happen. Even if other activities are occurring at this time, such as audits and visits, the DSD still must be held and cannot be postponed.
The main goal of the Daily Safety Dialogue is to bring the team together and create a time to resolve questions and uncertainty. This is a time for employees to feel they can more freely share their thoughts and feel heard. They are the ones working daily on operations and are the most aware of the dangers in their activities. Many of great ideas for making the workplace safer come up during Safety DSD.
In the case of leaders, it is important that they always have a short list of points to cover so that DSD remain focused and to convey an understanding of how serious this topic is. However, the aim here is to listen to what employees have to say. Take note of difficulties and proposed changes. After assessing the points discussed, invite those who made suggestions to engage in a longer talk and, if possible, implement these ideas. Then spread this to the entire company, making sure to mention the employees involved and the fact that creation of the improvement came from a DSD.
What should I talk about in the DSD?
Each company chooses what to cover in their DSD, with a consistent focus on employee health and safety. Some examples of topics are: workplace preparation, handling of equipment and tools, occupational accidents that occur at your company, routine precautions, waste management, first-aid techniques, audits, Internal Accident Prevention Commissions (CIPA), PPE, and risk analyses, among others.
The debate becomes even richer when bringing current affairs into meetings, such as major accidents being reported on the media. The discussion can go into whether the same accident could have happened at your organization and what could have been done to prevent it or even what the team has done or could do to avoid experiencing this type of situation.
Although it is important for the conversation to be serious, ideally the environment should be light and informal, using simple language aimed precisely at allowing employees to feel free to express themselves. Make this a time for a good round of conversation among friends; this will let you focus everyone’s attention and will keep the DSD from turning into a boring lecture.
Benefits of DSD
Daily Safety Dialogue provide an opportunity for leaders to learn from the workers they lead every day, which means that relations develop within a context of safety, gaining an understanding of risk at each step in the process. Other important benefits of this technique include:
- Spreading a health, safety and environment culture
- Collective learning
- Employee voices
- Accident prevention
- Propagation of EHS management responsibilities
- Reinforced knowledge
- Discussion of ideas
- Positive feedback
- Employee appreciation
Although there is no regulatory standard directly applicable to Daily Safety Dialogue, regulatory standards and even laws mandate that organizations keep employees informed of occupational and environmental risks along with safety precautions. That is why using this tool is simple, fast and effective in conveying this knowledge on a daily basis, without boring employees, while also promoting a more positive organizational culture.
Daily Safety Dialogue help to create an atmosphere of safety at companies, resulting in even more integration between employees and increasing team work while aimed at the most important goal, which is reducing the risk for accidents.
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