Open ended safety questions

Open ended safety questions DEFAULT

Quiz Answers

1. What are three questions you should ask about safety before you start a job?

There are ten important safety questions you should ask:

  1. What are the hazards of my job?
  2. What are the company’s safety and health rules?
  3. When will I receive training in job safety and the workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS)?
  4. Is there a safety and health committee or a worker representative? Where is the safety and health bulletin board located?
  5. Do I need to wear safety gear and when will I be shown how to use it?
  6. When will I be trained in emergency procedures?
  7. Where is emergency equipment located?
  8. What do I do if I get hurt? Who is the first aid person? Is this workplace covered by Workers Compensation?
  9. Who do I ask if I have a health or safety question?
  10. What are my safety and health responsibilities?


2. The SAFE Acronym stands for:

S: Spot the Hazard
A: Assess the Risk
F: Find a Safer Way
E: Everyday

3. What are the three ways to make a situation safer?

ELIMINATE the risk so it’s not there anymore.
REDUCE the risk.
SUBSTITUTE an action, a product or a piece of equipment for something safer.

4. What is the purpose of The Workplace Safety and Health Act?

To protect worker safety and health in the workplace.

5. What is the Internal Responsibility System?

The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is all about sharing responsibility for knowing the safety and health problems at a workplace and doing something about them.

6. Name three of the legal duties of employers:

Employers must take every precaution to protect their employees. They must:

  • Post safety and health information where all workers can see them.
  • Develop a training program to carry out the safety and health policy
  • Provide and maintain a safe workplace, including equipment and protective devices
  • Train workers to perform their duties safely, including the use of equipment
  • Protect workers from dangerous situations
  • Tell workers about any known hazard and provide training to work safely with the hazard
  • Comply with The Act and all Regulations
  • Provide competent supervision


7.    Why was The Workers Compensation Act created?

This Act was created to promote healthy and safe workplaces, to encourage safe and timely return to work and to provide wage compensation to workers who get injured on the job.

8.    What are the powers and duties of Workplace Safety and Health Officers?

Inspect any workplace
Investigate any potential hazardous situation and work refusal
Order compliance with the law (e.g. the Act or Regulations)

9.    Name the five different types of hazards:

1. Chemical
2. Physical
3. Biological
4. Muscle strain or musculoskeletal injury hazards
5. Psycho-social hazards

    What is the difference between “working alone” and “working in isolation”?

“Working alone” is the performance of any work by a worker who is:

a) The only worker for that employer at that workplace at any time; and
b) Not directly supervised by his or her employer, or any person designated as a supervisor by his or her employer, at any time.

“Working in isolation” means working in situations where assistance is not readily available in the event of injury, ill health or emergency.

    Name the basic rights of workers:

1. The Right to Know
2. The Right to Participate
3. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
4. The Right to Protection from Discrimination

    What does WHMIS stand for?

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

    Name the three parts of the WHMIS system.

1. Labels
3. Training

    When you are injured at work, what are the first three steps you should take?

Step 1: Tell your supervisor as soon as possible after it happens.

Step 2: Get healthcare attention as soon as possible. Let the healthcare professional know you were injured or got ill at work.

Step 3: Report the injury or illness to the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) by calling or toll free and provide the details of the injury or illness as soon as possible.

    Why is it important for you to report all injuries to your supervisor and to the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba?

When you report injuries or illnesses, you help your employer to make changes to prevent the same injury from happening to others. Reporting will also help you get compensated for the time you miss work to recover.



Safety Commitment with 12 Questions


Safety Commitment Doesn&#;t Exist Without Questions

You are not interested if you don&#;t ask!  Managers can show safety commitment strategically by asking simple questions.  They can show employees they care by responding to concerns.  The power of a question is a great technique to demonstrate strategic visibility.  Developing leadership skills in this area is important.

When is safety commitment real?
Safety commitment does not exist without visibility. The commitment becomes real when leaders develop an intense focus on critical safety processes. That takes planning.  Questions can increase intensity about a topic.  They can prompt a response.  Leaders can demonstrate their conviction in strategic ways.

Where do you spend your time? The most critical point you need to remember about strategic visibility is that it does not have to cost money. Your presence in the right safety-related processes demonstrates what is important to you. Employees have to see your interest with your questions!  If you do not ask safety related questions, you are not interested.

For example, new employees form opinions in the first couple of hours they are on site. This is a perfect opportunity for site managers to set the safety tone by meeting with them. Take the opportunity to communicate safety expectations in person.  Ask individuals about their personal safety. Intentional interaction with employees during safety meetings, pre-job meetings, and audits shows an employee safety is important to you.

Ask safety-related questions. Workers know your interest by the questions you ask but you may not know what to ask. When leaders balance management participation with decisive action, they visibly demonstrate safety is important.
Sample questions you can ask:
1. What are the critical steps in your job?
2. What is the worst thing that could happen?
3. How do you prevent the “worst” thing from happening?
4. How can I help you prevent a potential injury?
5. Do you feel like you get the proper safety training?
6. Do you feel like you get the proper instructions to perform tasks safely?
7. Do you feel comfortable stopping work if a hazard is present?
8. How do people around you demonstrate their commitment to safety?
9. Do you have the appropriate tools to complete your work safely?
Do you believe that all incidents (injuries, near misses, first aids, etc.) can be prevented?
Is there anything safety-related you would like for me to evaluate?
If you could make one safety improvement, what would you do?


Visible management commitment is the cornerstone to building a successful safety culture, and it is a mark that distinguishes a culture. Our words and actions project our commitment.  People will never know safety is important to you if you do not talk about it one on one with them.  Great managers learn to ask the right safety questions!  They learn where they can be strategically visible with safety.  People know you care because you ASK QUESTIONS.


Walk the Talk
The VPPPA Leader Magazine, Fall

(Reference: Principle to Practice by David G. Lynn, CSP &#; click here to order a copy.)

Tags: leadership, leading indicator, safety, Safety Leadership, Safety Topics, training

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The way you ask a question makes a big difference in the response you get. When it comes to Human Performance and safety, you want to ensure you are asking questions in a way that provokes thought and engagement; not just a &#;yeah, sure&#; response.

Broadly, you want to ask &#;open-ended&#; questions. Open-ended questions can’t be answered with a simple &#;yes-no.&#; They don’t lead the person being asked and require an explanation of the answer. Almost every question you might ask can be rephrased into an open-ended question, but to keep it quick and simple, here are three we commonly ask that could use some tweaking:

Don’t ask: Where’s your PPE? This question doesn’t elicit any thought or further explanation. It may also be answered with a simple &#;yes,&#; or even it’s not required.&#; Compliance with safety rules is achieved and the discussion is over.

Ask: Why aren’t you protecting your head/hands/eyes etc.? Answering this question requires more discussion and doesn’t open the door for &#;I’m meeting the minimum requirements.&#; You aren’t asking about following the rules; you’re asking about the intent of the rule. Just because it isn’t required doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. If the answer is &#;I’m not,&#; then they know they need to defend placing themselves at risk, irrespective of the requirements. Get them thinking about protecting themselves and not just protecting their job through basic compliance.

Don’t ask: Are all the hazards controlled? &#;Yep.&#; Would you like to explain? &#;Nope.&#;

Ask: How are you controlling all of the hazards/risks? To answer this question, I need to give it much more thought. I need to discuss the specific hazards I have identified and the steps I’m going to take to mitigate them. I’m going to give you much more information which will allow you to evaluate MY assessment of the hazards and risks of the job. You don’t have to assume I have it all covered; I’m going to let you know with a more complete response.

Don’t ask: What will you do if you are unsure about a step or action? This question is asked to elicit the chorus of &#;Stop and get help&#; from the workers but lacks specificity.

Ask: What specifically would cause a &#;stop work?&#;  Yes, it’s a good idea to remind your workers to &#;stop when unsure,&#; but that can be a vague concept. &#;Stop work&#; as a safety or Human Performance idea might be different from &#;stop work&#; as an action. For example, I’m going to mow the lawn and will stop work if &#;anything&#; seems out of place. &#;Anything&#; could be &#;anything&#; and I hope I notice it when I’m in the heat of the moment. I have a much better chance of recognizing a &#;stop work&#; moment if I gave it some thought beforehand. I’m going to stop if the lawnmower starts to smoke, shutter, or run erratically. I’m going to stop if I lose my hearing or eye protection. I’m going to stop if I become thirsty or start to get overheated. I’m going to stop if I encounter unexpected debris in the yard that could become a projectile. Now that I have specific &#;stop work&#; conditions, the chances are much better that I will recognize them and actually stop.

Simple yes-no questions might be more expedient but open-ended questions get your workers engaged and get you more complete answers.

Toolbox Talks offers quick insights and thoughts to use for your toolbox (tailboard) talks. Dave Sowers is a founding member of Knowledge Vine, a veteran-owned human performance training and consulting organization that strives to reduce the frequency and severity of human errors in the workplace. He has almost 30 years of experience in power generation and the utility industry. He is a veteran of U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Program and holds a bachelor’s degree in resources management and a master’s degree in both management and emergency management and homeland security.

David Sowers

Creating an Open Ended Question in Nearpod

Thinking and Open- Ended Questions

Effective Training Steps

3. Plan the Training and Organize Materials

Types of Teaching Techniques and Learning Activities

Group discussion and participation are powerful and effective "tools" which encourage learning and retention of the training material. Questions can be asked in a way that helps employees "feel safe" by encouraging group discussion and providing help (i.e., getting employees to talk to and help each other throughout the training).

The questions should be structured around the main points to be covered in the training. You can list some of their answers (e.g., on the board or a flip chart) and then use these answers at the end of the training to see if the employee's expectations and needs have been met. Always allow time for the employee's response and acknowledge the response. Do not forget to validate that the employee gave an answer.

Thinking and Open-Ended Questions require employees to think through and discuss the material. These types of questions often have a range of answers and can open up discussion. Examples include:

  • What types of hazards do you think this machine / process has?
  • What could you do to make working with this machine safer?
  • What are the symptoms of Heat Illness?
  • What are the types of Fall Protection?
  • Which portable ladder would you choose to do this job and how would you position it?
  • What type of respirator and cartridge would you use to protect yourself when working with solvents in this dip tank?
  • What new work practices do you think would make your job easier or safer?

The advantages of Thinking and Open- Ended Questions are that they:

  • Can be applied flexibly depending on the content
  • Eliminate one-way monologues by the trainer
  • Cover the required content in a focused way
  • Help ensure that employees get involved by providing feedback
  • Are effective at helping employees learn and retain material

Ended safety questions open

1.Do workers feel comfortable raising safety issues with their supervisor? If they are afraid of getting fired or disciplined for raising concerns, someone is eventually going to get hurt by an uncorrected hazard.

2.Do workers from one trade feel comfortable approaching someone from another trade if they see them in an unsafe situation? No one likes to be questioned by someone else, especially someone from another trade. The response is usually, “Who are you to tell me how to do my job safely?” In a positive work environment, workers welcome anyone offering advice to help prevent injuries.

3.Do workers have the right to refuse unsafe work and do they feel they can exercise it? The safest workplaces are ones where management trusts the workers enough to grant the explicit right to refuse unsafe work. When so entrusted, this right is rarely abused. Giving workers this right shows them that safe work is more important than production.

4. Are workers encouraged to report incidents and close calls? Improving safety performance requires learning from close calls that occur. If they are ignored or dismissed, we can’t prevent a similar incident that could very easily be tragic. Are workers encouraged to report incidents and close calls?

5.Does the company have an incentive program that discourages incident reporting? Everyone loves incentives, but such programs can discourage workers from reporting incidents. No one wants to be blamed for losing an incentive. Incentive programs must be carefully crafted so that they do not discourage incident reports from which valuable information to improve your program can be gathered.

6.Are reports of unsafe conditions addressed promptly? If reported unsafe conditions are never corrected or not corrected promptly, workers get a powerful message that their safety is not valued. If hazards are corrected promptly, workers feel encouraged to report them in the future.

7.Do employees have the time to do the work safely, or do they feel pressured to take shortcuts to get the job done? Every job is under pressure to get completed on time and under budget. Under such pressure, supervisors and workers may look for shortcuts. Instead, pressures should be handled with better planning, including planning sufficient time for safety. If time isn’t sufficient, additional resources may be needed to make sure safety isn’t sacrificed.

8.Do supervisors talk about safety at every meeting and walk around the site to identify problems? Supervisors need to walk the walk and talk the talk. If safety isn’t on their radar, integrated at all meetings and discussed on every walk-around, it is hard to convince workers that safety is important to them. They must lead by example.

9.Are supervisors good listeners? Employee participation is vital to the success of any safety program. Supervisors need to be good listeners, take employee suggestions for improvements and not brush them off. Workers often have the best suggestions since they know the work and know where the problems are.

Are the needs and tendencies of younger, older and immigrant workers distinguished and addressed? Younger workers are particularly vulnerable to injuries since they are often reluctant to say anything for fear of appearing unsure or incapable; they need to be mentored and encouraged by older workers. Older workers sometimes develop overconfidence in their safety awareness; they may need additional training or license to take more time to work more safely. Immigrant workers are also more vulnerable; they need bi-lingual mentors and training on safety rights and responsibilities.

Part 1 - Using Excel for Open-ended Question Data Analysis

Workplace Safety Questions and Answers

Safety EquipmentWorkplace health and safety is both the moral and legal responsibility of most employers. Whether you’re working in an office or in a manufacturing warehouse, any type of workplace has its share of hazards. It is important for employers to thoroughly assess and effectively address each issue. This means performing a job safety analysis, providing education and training for your employees, supply appropriate PPE at no cost to the worker, removing or controls hazards, and cultivating a culture of safety.

Countries and institutions research, regulate, and standardize the workplaces all over the world to keep those earning a paycheck safe and healthy. Most companies find when safety is put first, there is an improvement in employee morale, and even productivity.

Covering a number of international topics with a focus on OSHA’s role in workplace safety, we invite you to explore the most commonly asked questions related to occupational health and safety; it could save your workplace!

Topics Covered

As you browse through our list of different topics, you will see that there are answers to lots of different types of questions related to workplace safety. You can learn about things such as:

  • Regulations and Enforcement – Explore how regulations are enforced and the organizations behind the development of standards.
  • Personal Protection Equipment for Workplace Safety – Personal protection equipment, or PPE, is an important safety consideration for any workplace.
  • Workplace Safety Training – We will look at different ways you can improve the safety in your facility and the kind of training needed for employees.
  • Visual Communication Advantages – Implementing visual safety standards like floor markings, labels, and signs can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Much More – There are many other subjects covered in this Q&A segment focused on workplace safety.



Now discussing:

Leading safety with effective questions

Successful safety leaders ask effective questions to gather the information needed to analyze the process and occupational safety components, develop valid conclusions and make meaningful recommendations that drive performance improvements. Examples of components examined are management systems, safe work practices, process hazard and job safety analyses, incident investigations, contractors' safety, and audits and assessments. Some of these leaders will unapologetically admit to not having all the answers, frequently ask questions and encourage others to do the same.

Unfortunately, many safety leaders have not developed good skills for asking effective questions, which makes their jobs harder, affecting their ability to prevent injuries, illnesses and catastrophic incidents. Bad questions, or approaches to asking questions, can hurt relationships with stakeholders and become career-limiting or career-ending experiences.


Common barriers that limit safety leaders' abilities to ask effective questions include:

  • Belief that they are supposed to have answers and not ask questions.
  • Expectation that they must quickly identify and resolve problems. This encourages quick analyses, discourages deep-dive reviews, and promotes conclusions and recommendations based on assumptions or experience.
  • Perception that asking questions signals lack of knowledge or inability to resolve issues independently.
  • Not comfortable asking questions.
  • A culture that labels individuals who ask questions as troublemakers.

Excellent communication skills are often listed in job descriptions and postings and are occasionally considered during performance appraisals. This does not specifically refer to the competency to ask effective questions. Asking effective questions is not implicitly addressed in academic program curriculums, professional and executive development programs, and employers' training programs. Most leaders develop this skill on their own or by observing successful leaders or mentors asking effective questions.


Safety leaders first need to learn what questions to ask. The best questions are open-ended questions that require deep reflection and thinking before they are answered. They generally result in "telling a story," providing lots of information requiring the leader to extract vital data from other, non-pertinent information.

"Why," "what" and "how" are used for these types of questions. An example is: "How can we improve the implementation of the lockout/tagout procedure for this boiler?"

Close-ended questions typically start with "what," "where" or "when" and may be needed to obtain clear-cut answers. Examples include: "Is there an isolation and lockout/ lockout survey available for this vessel?" and "Are we documenting the annual logout/ tagout program review?" Leading questions that guide the answer in a pre-determined direction should be avoided and only used to paraphrase and confirm your understanding of the information heard.


The following approaches can help safety leaders develop skills to ask effective questions:

  • Lead by example. Demonstrate a learning attitude by asking effective questions, and avoid providing the answers.
  • Timing of the questions is important. If a person must interrupt an important task to respond, the answers may be incomplete.
  • Break the ice with a short conversation. Explain what you want to talk about.
  • Ask an open-ended question. Additional open-ended questions may be needed to get all relevant facts. Ask one question at a time. Remember, it is not an interrogation but an interaction. The goal is to obtain information, not to win arguments.
  • Slow down. Practice focused listening. Do not interrupt.
  • Ask additional questions for clarification purposes, if needed.
  • Thank the person for the answers and interaction.

Leaders who ask effective questions can help create a question-friendly organization where asking questions is as natural as walking. They improve their companies' safety performances and communication processes while gaining credibility and influence.

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