What do nuclear power plants, construction sites, aircraft carriers, and many hospitals have in common with Scouting? All constantly look for ways to eliminate hazards that could be life altering or fatal. One tool used by many safety-conscious groups is the safety moment or briefing that starts each meeting or activity with a pause to discuss a hazard or risk that can be prevented. The safety moment focuses the attention of the group on safety and how to achieve it. That’s the “why” of the safety moment. Let’s address the “who, what, when, where, and how” next.
Who can deliver a safety moment? Anyone who is willing to be prepared and to step up. Ideally, each Scout or Scouter (with some preparation) could step up and make a difference within his or her unit or group.
When and where should a safety moment be delivered? At the beginning of a meeting or just before an activity—especially one that has some risk such as shooting, climbing, or aquatic activities.
What makes a great safety moment? Almost anything that focuses or educates the audience on a safety topic. The BSA publishes several safety moments, and new topics are being developed on a regular basis. Other topics can include the use of checklists or safety tools such as PAUSE or focus on something such as hydration, safe driving, or simply the location of fire extinguishers or evacuation routes. The Guide to Safe Scouting, the Scouting Safely website, and the Health and Safety newsletters are also great sources of ideas. If you have information that’s accurate, don’t shy away from discussing injuries or other incidents that occurred during a recent outing as long as the focus is on learning and prevention. Make it simple and easy to understand, and help the learners know how to apply the message.
How should the message be delivered? All messages should be delivered using facts and simple language and should be appropriate to the audience. Using a handout, slides, or a demonstration will help assure that those who hear the message understand it and know how to apply it. The message should be delivered in just a few minutes. Don’t belabor the point or make it difficult.
This message is provided by BSA’s Health and Safety website: http://www.scouting.org/Home/HealthandSafety.aspx