I have done hundreds of safety meetings and attended many thousands for clients and customers. Most start off with welcome or everyone gather around, But what if you start with something first up that makes the brain think, or gets people openly talking or ENGAGING THE AUDIENCE!
Well ice breakers small in data HUGE IN GETTING THE MEETING GOING, are not just babble.
1) What’s more dangerous, collisions with animals on the road or your bathtub? A: Bathtub. If you are 20 or older in the U.S., you’re two times more likely to drown in the bathtub. About 100 people die in collisions with animals annually versus over 300 who die in the bathtub. (Some were under 20 years old.)
2) What’s the deadliest time to go for a walk? A: 6- 9 p.m. Dusk is the most deadly 3-hour period for pedestrians on U.S. highways.
3) At what age are you most likely to die from a fall? A: Age 65+ Over 80% of home accident deaths from falls occur to people aged 65+.
4) Are you more likely to be killed by a shark or by hemorrhoids? A: Hemorrhoids.More than 10 people in the U.S. die from hemorrhoids in the U.S. every year versus the fewer than 3 per year on average who die from shark attacks.
5) What’s riskier for babies getting baths or, a mother who is not healthy while pregnant? A: Not healthy while pregnant.Although drowning in the bathtub is a top 5 cause of death of infants in the U.S. (approx. 44 deaths to babies under age 1 per year), it pales in comparison to the number of babies who die from low birth weight (4,500).
6) At what age in the U.S. does heart attack become the #1 cause of death? A: Age 45-54 for men versus 75+ for women.When you’re young, you’re more likely to die from an accident, murder, suicide, cancer, or hormones before your heart goes.
7) Are you more likely to die in the U.S. of Lyme disease if you live in the East or the West? A: East. Ticks primarily feed off mice (which are Lyme carriers) in the East versus lizards (which don’t get infected) in the West.
What’s more dangerous: clogged arteries from sitting and eating fatty foods or falling?A: Falling. About a thousand more people die each year from falling (approx. 15,000) than do arteriosclerosis (approx.. 14,000).
How many more years are American women expected to live than men? A: 5 years.The variance of 5+ years (it’s actually 5.4) has not changed since 1999 (79.9 versus 74.5).
Which travels quicker, the particles expelled in your last sneeze, or a big league pitcher’s fastball? A: Sneeze. Power pitchers can throw fastballs at speeds of 95-105 mph (150-170 km/hr) whereas a sneeze can explode at 157.7 mph (252 km/hr).
When should you use icebreakers? Getting a training session off to a good start can affect the success of the rest of the session. Icebreakers may be the answer when you need to build trust and teamwork within your training group and/or encourage interaction and participation. Icebreakers also help energize a training group and prepare them to get the most from the session. An icebreaker may be appropriate when:
- Trainees are from different parts of the organization and don’t know one another very well
- The purpose of your safety meeting is to create a team spirit among trainees—for example, to team up to improve workplace safety—and you need to encourage a lot of group interaction
- Problem-solving is the focus of your session and you want trainees to work together as a group to tackle specific safety problems and come up with effective solutions
- You might also want to use an icebreaker at the beginning of each part of multipart training sessions (for example, when training takes place over a couple of days or has a morning and afternoon session) to bring trainees’ focus back to the topic quickly and reorient them right away to the subject matter.
- What are some examples of icebreakers? Icebreakers can range from simple self-introductions to structured games and even physical challenges. For example:
- If trainees don’t know one another well, you could break the ice by having them wear name tags, introduce themselves, and describe something they already know about the topic of the training session
- If you need to build team spirit and get trainees interacting right away, you could divide the group into teams, with each team identifying a way to improve on a safety procedure, solve a problem, or demonstrate a skill.
- If the purpose of the session is to solve a specific safety problem, you could pair up trainees and have each pair list as many possible solutions as they can think of before reassembling the group to compare lists and pick the best solutions.
To get the most from an icebreaker, you should be able to refer back in some meaningful way to lessons, insights, or information gained during the icebreaker and use that reference to reinforce key training points made later in the session.
Aren’t icebreakers really just attention-grabbers? No. Although some people may use the terms interchangeably, they’re really two different techniques. As we said earlier, when you use the word “icebreaker” in relation to safety training, strictly speaking, you’re talking about a method for creating trust among group members, stimulating interaction, developing team spirit, creating an atmosphere in which trainees can work together to solve safety problems, or something else along those lines.