Daily Safety Briefings – A Symbol of Reliability.

A daily safety briefing is one of the characteristics of dependable organisations.  These daily gatherings or huddles give the company frontline staff and its leadership a way of keeping up their safety awareness.

Keep your briefings short and to the point. Their purpose is to share issues that have recently occurred and usually within the last 24 hours. They are to highlight and anticipate potential issues.  It’s the chance to discuss previously mentioned issues including the steps that are being taken to resolve them.

Briefings are used in many industries and are used to address the 5 key principles of high reliability  (Weick & Sutcliffe*)

  • The opportunity to share unexpected events (preoccupation with failure).

  • Providing multiple perspectives & levels of experience in addressing issues (reluctance to simplify.)

  • Continual awareness of the stress levels within the organisation (sensitivity to operations)

  • Quickly addressing the issues that are brought up (commitment to resilience)

  • Frontline staff frequently have a good sense of what needs to be done but don’t always have the resources to achieve the remedy (deference to expertise)

What are the benefits of Safety Briefings?

There are a number of benefits to having daily safety briefings or huddles. This includes both at organisational level and at departmental level. This allows the leadership in the company to show their commitment to safety.

At organisation level, these daily safety briefings are valuable in:

  • Identifying close calls (near misses)

  • Identifying vulnerabilities and hazardous conditions.

  • Improving customer and employee safety.

  • Creating vigilant teams

  • Improving teamwork.

  • Alerting team members to issues, such as equipment failures.

  • Making others aware of possible issues e.g. slips/trips/falls.

^These briefings must be carried out with consistency. Departmental briefings can be a great way to channel important information up and down the chain of command.

Use these daily briefings to get to know your organisation. Improve your safety culture by creating greater awareness. Promote real-time identification and reporting of safety issues and concerns by committing to running these briefings.

  • Determine who will be involved: A representative from both operational and administrative (whatever departments you have) areas should be present.

  • Establish a timeframe: Set a fixed time and stick with it. Start with Monday to Friday. If you are a daily operation work up to include the weekend. Safety doesn’t work business hours and neither do incidents.

  • Decide the leader: Adopt a routine that has your leaders running these briefings. Take turns with the senior people in each department e.g. Duty Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders.

  • Identify how people will take part: Do you congregate in a specific area, do you have your people “dial in” to a call? Maybe you do both. Make it easy to attend.

  • Define what will be shared: Develop a guideline to structure the briefing and modify as you need to make it more efficient. This will give order for reporting. The person leading the briefing can bring and keep the focus on what needs to be addressed. This is not a platform for other company issues.

    • Review the previous day

      • Consider safety issues, injuries, near misses, slips/trips/falls, etc.

    • Look forward in the day

      • Examine anything that could have potential issues – new procedures, downtime of systems, equipment issues, start-up or ongoing works, etc.

      • Ongoing concerns – equipment in maintenance, weather issues, staffing levels

      • Discuss previously reported issues – give a progress update.

    • Follow Up: When the leadership within the organisation fails to follow up on issues that have been raised trust will be lost and the briefings will become ineffective. So, assign a person who will take responsibility for following up on an issue and report to the briefing leader or manager on its progress. By being able to report on these follow-ups in the briefings, it will demonstrate that there is a commitment to safety within the organisation.

    • COMMIT: Daily briefings won’t bring instant success. Persistence and consistency will play a crucial part in this. Understand that your people need time to adjust and may find it overwhelming.  Above all, be patient.


It WILL pay off.

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*Resource: Weick KE, Sutcliffe KM. Managing the Unexpected, 2nd Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007

^The Joint Commission

Cyber Security

The essential function of any organisation is underpinned and protected by effective cybersecurity. Whatever the size of the organisation or the sector in which it operates, it’s vital that all staff regardless of seniority understand how they may be susceptible to a cyberattack or data breach and the steps they can take to ensure everyone stays safe online. While the primary responsibility for technically securing IT systems and associated technology lies with your organisation, you as an individual have a crucial role to play. This short video will explain why cyber-attacks happen. A great deal of this advice will also apply to IT systems and devices in your home.

Cyberattacks can be carried out by a whole range of individuals and groups.  They will target you as an individual as a way of getting into your organisation’s IT networks or systems

Cyber threat actors is a term used to describe any individual or group that creates incidents that could have a negative impact on any aspect of an organisation’s security. They could for instance want to steal sensitive data to sell it or block access to your IT systems and demand ransoms to let you back in.  Cyberattacks can also be funded directed or sponsored by foreign governments who want to access extremely sensitive or valuable information to give themselves a political or strategic advantage.  This information could be about your organisation or its people or could relate to third parties such as customers or suppliers.

Hackers are individuals with a wide variety of motivations they may want to test their skills or cause disruption for the sake of it or, for financial gain. For the most part, political activists are motivated by political or ideological reasons. They may for example want to access sensitive information to discredit or expose you or your organisation in some way. This type of cyber-attack is more likely if your organisation operates in an industry that experiences political activism or contains groups that adopt an aggressive approach to your country.

Terrorist organisations conduct cyber-attacks because they want to cause harm and destruction while spreading propaganda or for financial gain to fund their activities.  Cyber-attacks can also come from inside your organisation.  Disgruntled staff with access to data or IT networks can for example steal information to sell to competitors.  And finally, you should be aware of another area that can generate problems, but in these cases, there is absolutely no malicious intent. This group is negligent employees.  Data breaches or situations that lead to cyberattacks can be caused by employee negligence where for example someone stores information on a non-approved, insecure system or email confidential or personal data to the wrong people. We all have a part to play in being careful and managing the data we create and process on a day-to-day basis.

The National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland (NCSC) engages in a comprehensive set of tasks around cyber security, with a primary focus on securing Government networks and securing Critical National Infrastructure. It encompasses the State’s National/Governmental Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE).

To learn more about cybersecurity please click the link below for a free trial.

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