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Take 5 Minutes for Your Safety

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Whether you are aiming for Zero Harm, No Accidents Today, Everyone Home Safe or some other gold standard of workplace safety, the key is identifying hazards and controlling risks through a robust Risk Management Plan. 

Risk management is the responsibility of all levels of an organisation.  Whether you are an equipment operator or the CEO, you have an obligation under health and safety legislation to ensure your own safety and that of those around you.

The most basic risk assessment, is a personal risk assessment, where a worker assesses each task to determine the risk to themselves, equipment, the environment and other personnel in the area.

Personal Risk Assessment tools take many forms, but in the simplest terms they all require you to follow five basic steps.

  1. Stop and take a step back from the task.
  2. Think about what you need to do.
  3. Identify hazards – look up, down and around.
  4. Identify control measures to eliminate the hazard or minimise the risks associated with each hazard.
  5. Implement controls and proceed with the task, monitoring the effectiveness of the controls throughout the job.

These five simple steps should take no more than about five minutes. And one of the simplest and most effective risk management tools takes its name from this fact. 

A Take 5 is a personal hazard identification tool that poses a list of questions to ask and answer before starting any task. It is as simple as working through the questions and ticking the relevant boxes. A tick in a bold box highlights a potential hazard that must be addressed before proceeding with the task. Questions should be developed from the site risk register and reflect the hazardous tasks being conducted onsite.

On the other side of the page there is a section for describing the hazard, assessing the likelihood and consequence of the risk and identifying the controls to be used to minimise the risk. 

Benefits of a Take 5:

  • simple to do
  • portable (fits in your pocket)
  • can be applied across different industries, work sites and work tasks 
  • ensures EVERYONE shares in accountability for safety
  • provides an auditable record of risk management actions
  • can be used as historic information for trend identification and future planning.

Pertrain has over 20 years developing customised Take 5 books and has identified a set of questions that are common across most industries.  These questions have been used to develop a generic Take 5 book that is available for purchase from Pertrain’s online shop. Pertrain also offers a free Take 5 training program that is available on YouTube or can be downloaded as a SCORM package to be used in your Learning Management System (LMS).

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