How to Conduct an Engaging Pre-Job Hazard Hunt

how to conduct a hazard huntOne way to make a pre-job meeting or tailgate meeting more engaging and interactive is to turn it into a hazard hunt.  A hazard hunt is in effect a “roving” tailgate meeting.  The beauty of this is, we can use the very same three-question format we addressed in a previous video in this series. [content_protector password=”meeting-hunt-04″ identifier=”meeting-hunt-04″]

Start the meeting at the regular meeting spot and have a brief, two-way conversation about work-tasks and other assignments for the day to ensure everyone knows and understands their role that day; and make a note of just where on the job site they’ll be working.  In fact, if you can rough-sketch a map of the job site and make a note on the map where each person or work-crew will be spending most of their day, that’s even better.

Then say something like, “Guys, let’s walk the area as a group to get a better idea of what we’re up against today.”  Lead the group to the first place you marked on your job-site map, and have them stop there.  Then say something like, “Okay guys, this is where John and his crew are going to be working today.  Guys, let’s just take a look around here.  What hazards or potential hazards might John and his crew have to watch out for today?” Gather the group’s thoughts on that, and then follow that up with something like, “John, what can you and your crew do to mitigate or eliminate those hazards?  How do you plan to avoid those dangers today?”  Get John’s input, get his work crew’s input, and get input from the rest of the group.  Then move on to the next location on your job-site map and repeat the process.

Now, this accomplishes three things: First, it gets them thinking actively about the potential dangers of the job that are directly in front of them and that they can see.  Because they can see it, it acts as a visual aid and helps to turn an otherwise abstract safety concept into a concrete reality.

Second, it sparks a lot of good conversation about what those dangers are and how to work safely in spite of them.  And third, it gives everyone the opportunity to watch out for everyone else, to advise each other on potential hazards they may not otherwise have noticed, and to coach each other on how to work safely that day.

This kind of pre-job meeting is of much greater value for raising safety awareness than the static, check-the-box monologue-lecture method that’s typical of these meetings.

That’s all the time we have for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time be sure all your safety talks are built in, not bolted on.



About the Author

Eric Svendsen
Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.