You normally hear the phrase “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself” uttered by 10 year olds, so what does it have to do with health and safety in a workplace?
The phrase is a good reminder to stop, think, assess and control your personal state and your work environment prior to starting work. The process is often known as a Take 5.
Stop and Take 5
Take 5 is a process to complete prior to starting work for the day or starting a job. Take 5’s ask you to stop and think about your own personal health, wellbeing and safety. The process should take 5 minutes or less, and asks you questions along the lines of:
• Stop - First, think about all the potential risks associated with the task about to be performed. Think about if you are personally in a fit and well state to complete the task
• Look - Identify any hazards
• Assess - The risks are assessed by the overall risk rating (score). Consider the associated damage and threats.
• Control - Implement preventive measures to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of occurrence
• Monitor - This helps in proper mitigation of the likelihood of damages or injuries in the worksite.
You can use take 5 forms when:
- There is no JSA or SWMS for new jobs or tasks
- The JSA/SWMS has missing sections or steps
- Conditions change in the workplace
- There is a need to assess the job risks and evaluate the work condition prior
- Required by the worksite rules
Why do it?
By stopping, thinking, assessing and controlling your personal state and work environment prior to work, you are:
• Preparing to have a safety conscious mind frame
• Considering any potential hazards you are personally bringing to the site. If you are not feeling well, are tired or not confident in completing the job you could be the biggest hazard of all on site.
• Protecting yourself from potential harm by placing controls in place to reduce your potential risk to harm to possible near misses, injuries or accidents.
• Considering the jobs and actions of others in the work area that could potentially cause you harm.
Take 5 forms are practical, simple and effective safety tools that have been established as safety awareness programs that can be used in any workplace. They usually reduce the occurrence of incidents during work. Implementing a unique process of setting time to think about the potential hazards associated with a specific task is significant in risk management in every organisation.
Want to use a Take 5?
Take 5 Checklists are available on our website for purchase