Take 5

What is Take 5?

Take 5 is a simple and quick safety check that you can carry out at any stage of an activity. No matter what your role or where you work, it can help you to think about the hazards associated with your work and complete your activities safely.

Why do I need to Take 5?

We still have a long way to go in making sure everyone gets home safe every day.

Far too many Network Rail colleagues are injured while at work. Sometimes this can be down to what we do being so ingrained in our minds that we go on ‘autopilot’ – leading to risks being incompletely assessed or even overlooked.

All of these incidents are preventable and taking 5 before, during and/or after a task can help us to spot a risk that we might otherwise have overlooked.

Jason’s story

Jason Anker, a former scaffolder, has been working closely with colleagues in LNW to encourage people to Take 5 for safety.
Jason describes how he needed to climb up a ladder to collect a tool from the scaffold – a simple task he had done many, many times before. But on this occasion he overlooked the need to secure the ladder. He fell, was paralysed and has regretted it ever since. He now tells people very simply: “Just take five seconds to think about safety. I regret that I didn’t.”

How do I Take 5?

Steve Hawkins, infrastructure maintenance delivery manager (IMDU), Western, has been using Take 5 with his teams.
He explains: “Take 5 can be as simple as pausing for five seconds to think about what you’re about to do and ask yourself if you’re aware of the risks, have the right control measures in place and the right kit, and make sure you’re safe to proceed. Taking 5 really can be the difference between you and your colleagues getting home safe every day.”

Some prompts at the different stages of a task are:

Before the task:

  • Think through the steps of what you will be doing
  • Identify any risks within your work area and make sure they are controlled before starting

During the task:

  • Ask yourself – do I feel safe doing this task? Are others around me working safely?

After the task:

  • Observe the work area
  • Reflect on the task – can any better every day improvements be made?

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