A HIIT of Safety


It’s still new year’s resolution time, so the term HIIT may be at the top of some of your minds. HIIT in the fitness world stands for High Intensity Interval Training and includes near-maximum bouts of exercise for a relatively short period of time, followed by a medium intensity rest before the next bout. It’s a great way to get exercise incorporated into your day or week, without spending hours at the gym.

Let’s apply this to safety. We all are trying to do more with less. Assess the training opportunities in your workplace. Often, safety training has been pared down to a gimmicky annual safety day. Even if it’s once a quarter, that is not enough.

Now look at training opportunities in a different way – anytime there is a group of workers together for 5-10 minutes, that is an opportunity! On the flipside, anytime a safety professional has 2-5 minutes with an individual employee, that is also an opportunity!

Consider the following opportunities to apply HIIT principles to further the workers’ safety knowledge:

  • Weekly tailgate, toolbox, or otherwise named safety meeting
  • Daily pre-task planning meeting (if your safety culture is “there”)
  • Clock-in time, especially if groups of workers clock-in at the same time
  • Lunch time, especially dedicated “safety lunches”
  • When a safety professional observes an individual worker or crew doing something not quite right or completely egregiously wrong
  • New Hire Orientation, no matter the job function
  • Staff meeting
  • Safety committee meeting

I’m sure there are many more micro-opportunities if you think about the intricacies at your workplace. Do not let these opportunities slip by! These are the perfect times to discuss or present a safety topic, injury report, state of the company’s safety program and metrics, safety highlights related to a new process or piece of equipment, and other timely safety messages. These messages should be delivered in a HIGH INTENSITY manner so that the workers’ attention is instantly grabbed and held for the two to ten minutes that you have.

I challenge you to identify at least three micro-opportunities this month where you can practice delivering a HIGH INTENSITY safety message. You may even have fun.



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