This innovative process has benefitted many industries, and although it is relatively simple, by taking 5 minutes to assess the task you are about to tackle, you can drastically reduce the possibility of an accident. The Take 5 initiative is widely used, and comes in some varied forms, yet here are the main points, along with descriptions to help you to fully understand how Take 5 works.
- Stop and Think – Before starting any job, you should first observe the workspace, looking for potential hazards, and knowing the task at hand, be sure that everything is in place and take into account floor surfaces, lighting and other environmental factors. If machinery is being used, does the operator have sufficient room? Do materials need to be brought into the area, and if so, are there any obstructions? Many companies create their own Take 5 safety checklist, which is tailored to their specific industry, and with booklets and manuals printed, your workers will be able to follow the procedure with everything they do.
- Review the Task – It might seem simple enough, but a quick review will do no harm, and it could bring up an issue that you had overlooked. Complacency is a major problem in any industry, and with continued repetition, the operator can easily forget things, and by reviewing what is to be done, you can be sure that nothing has been overlooked.
- Identify the Risks – Risk assessment in an integral component to the take 5 process, and by looking at possible issues, you will have a heightened perception of what will actually take place when you commence work, and one something has been identified, preventative steps need to be taken.
- Manage the Risks – One the worker has assessed the job and identified risks, the plan should be passed on to his supervisor, who will review the process. This double check ensures that nothing is overlooked. Of course, the Take 5 system is only effective if all the employees are fully conversant with the process, and with the right printed media, they have all the tools to effectively use the Take 5 system.
- Complete the Task – Once you have completed the Take 5 steps, you are in a much better position to actually carry out the work, and with the risks identified and preventative measures in place, everyone will be focused on the job at hand, which dramatically reduces the risk of an accident. The system is used extensively across a wide range of industries, especially oil and mining, yet Take 5 works for any workplace, as it focuses on operator awareness and risk assessment.
All of the large Australian heavy industry players adopt Take 5 as a standard safety module, and while there can be customisation, the basics are the same for all working environments. If you would like to know more about Take 5, and how it can reduce the risk of accidents, there are many online resources to get you started.