The Take Five Safety (also known as the Take 5) is a process of helping to manage workplace risks and allows one to establish if a job is safe to perform, or requires approval from the supervisor. It guides the worker through five clearly defined steps to identify and control any potential hazards.
According to B&S Printing, the Take Five Safety Process involves the following steps:
- Stop, step back and think. The worker must first understand what the job needs. Workers should know if they need any permit, the correct protective equipment in good condition for the task, if they have the suitable tools and equipment for it, and if they had the training and certification (or licence, if applicable) to perform the task.
- Identify the hazards. Workers should spot any potential hazards in the work area. In this step, not only the planned task and immediate environment are important, but also everything around that could affect them during the process. Examples of such dangers are fall hazards and electrical, chemical, biological, and psychological hazards.
- Assess the level of risk. Determine the level of risk to arrive at what control measures are necessary to mitigate, if not avoid, a certain risk. Workers must give a brief description of the hazards identified and state the current condition that, if continued, can cause the risk. Such risks, of course, need prevention (or avoidance).
- Control the hazards. After assessing the level of risk present in a task, the worker must work out a plan that will reduce or eliminate the hazard altogether. A hierarchy of controls, which involves elimination of hazards, substitution of actions, engineering a preventative plan, administering such plan, and improving personal protective equipment, is usually present in this step.
- Proceed safely. Once they have taken the hazards under control, then the worker can safely proceed with the task. Otherwise, the worker must proceed to consult his supervisor.
The Take Five Safety is one of the mechanisms that bring safety into the hands of the workers. While risks are always present, control measures can lessen them or prevent them altogether.