By Boy Scouts of America
May 15, 2017

Using Safety Moments in Scouting Activities

What do nuclear power plants, construction sites, aircraft carriers, and many hospitals have in common with Scouting?

All constantly look for ways to eliminate potentially life threatening or fatal hazards. One tool used by many safety-conscious groups is a safety moment at the beginning of a meeting or activity. You start with a pause to discuss a hazard or risk that can be prevented. The safety moment focuses the attention of the group on safety and how to achieve it. That’s the “why” of the safety moment. Let’s address the who, what, when, where, and how next.


Who can deliver a safety moment? Anyone who is willing to be prepared and to step up can teach others about safety. Ideally, each Scout or Scouter (with some preparation) could share information, and make a difference within his or her unit or group.

When and where should a safety briefing be delivered? The timing is right at the beginning of a meeting or just before an activity —especially one that has some risk such as shooting, climbing, or aquatic activities.

What makes a great safety moment? Almost anything that focuses or educates the audience on a safety topic can be a great safety moment. The BSA publishes several safety moments (see below), and new topics are being developed on a regular basis. Other topics can include the use of checklists or safety tools such as PAUSE or focus on something such as hydration, safe driving, or simply the location of fire extinguishers or evacuation routes. The Guide to Safe Scouting, the Scouting Safely website, and the Health and Safety newsletters are also great sources of ideas. If you have information that’s accurate, don’t shy away from discussing injuries or other incidents that occurred during a recent outing as long as the focus is on learning and prevention. Make it simple and easy to understand, and help the learners know how to apply the message.

How should the message be delivered? All messages should be delivered using facts and simple language and should be appropriate to the audience. Using a handout, slides, or a demonstration will help assure that those who hear the message understand it and know how to apply it. The message should be delivered in just a few minutes. Don’t belabor the point, or make it difficult.

BSA Safety Moments

Safety Moments are exactly what the name implies: opportunities to prepare for an activity, review safety measures, and report incidents correctly. Topics of this new series include incident reporting helps, safe use of medication in Scouting, weather-related safety, winter activity, and winter sports. Check back here, since BSA is always adding more, but now now here is good start:

Here are other examples of Safety Moments that may meet your needs from the Great Salt Lake Council :


Risk Management


Author: Risk Management | Boy Scouts of America

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