SAFTEY SPEAK The Important Differences Between

Safety Briefing, Training and Educating The critical components of safety communication and how they can all be part of your safety program.

By Sam Steel

In light of recent media references and discussions about safety briefing verses safety training, I want to share some thoughts about how safety and health information can be effectively shared with your employees. There is an important, complimentary role for all these stages in the information transfer system.

SAFETY BRIEFINGS First, let’s look at safety briefings and how they can be used to manage hazardous conditions that could expose workers to serious injury or illness events. For many of our firms, safety briefings are a daily occurrence between crew managers and crew members. They are often reminders about company safety policies on topics like vehicle seat belt use, cell phone use while operating equipment or the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) at work sites. A safety briefing could also be described as a warning about the potential for severe weather conditions during the work day. These would in-

clude storm warnings or the possibility of excessively warm weather, such as the onset of heat stress symptoms and how workers can prevent heat-related illnesses. Safety briefings are short and concise. It is often a one-way form of communication between the supervisor and their crew members.

SAFETY TRAINING A safety briefing can reference a more in-depth type of information transfer known as safety training. Differences between briefings and trainings are significant. While a briefing is a mostly one-way, crew manager directed initiative, training should be interactive between the trainer and the trainee(s) and encourage hands-on activities, demonstrations of safe work skills and a commitment to behavioral change targeting safe work practices. Other differences between safety briefing and safety training involves the timing of the information transfer and the person who coordinates the activity. A briefing is usually the job of a crew


NALP would like to acknowledge industry companies who consis- tently demonstrate their commitment to safety. The NALP Safe Company Program, sponsored by Rancho Mesa Insurance Services Inc., was cre- ated to assist industry companies in improving safety and reducing injury and incident rates and insurance claim costs. The NALP-designed program provides companies with the tools needed to implement a strong safety program, includ-

ing safety resources, training materials and safety policies. The national

program is open to all industry companies and branches. Partic- ipants are asked to sign a safe company pledge that outlines steps they will take to develop a safety culture. They are also expected to participate in the annual NALP Safety Awards.

For the full list of NALP Safe Company members, visit www. landscapeprofessionals. org/safecompanies.

34 The Landscape Professional // May/June 2019

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