Why Safety Meetings
When it comes to workplace safety, there is no better time to promote new ideas or reinforce safe working habits than in a safety meeting. However, we often see business owners asking how to make their safety meetings more effective. It’s important that owners, managers and employees don’t think of safety meetings as a waste of time. Here are some simple steps that you can take to ensure all your safety meetings moving forward are a success!
Step 1: Preparation
If the person leading the safety meeting isn’t prepared then the attendees won’t take the message seriously.
Make sure the word gets out. Send out reminders the day before and have shift supervisors or the foreman remind teams when the next mandatory safety meeting will be held.
Set the objective of your safety meeting and make it clear when you send out the meeting invitation and again at the opening of the safety meeting. For example: During this meeting, we are going to learn how to complete a ladder inspection checklist and understand the requirements for completing ladder inspections.
Step 2: Timing
Put yourself in the shoes of the employees. After a long day at work would you really pay attention to a safety meeting, and then would you retain that information for the next day on the job when you need it? Depending on the work environment plan the location, length and timing of the safety meeting so that the employees are most engaged during that time. At the beginning of every shift or at the start of the work day is a great time to host safety meetings to get crews into the right mindset for the day.
Step 3: Delivery
The topic of the safety meeting should be relevant and a discussion is more likely to engage your team rather than a lecture-style meeting. You won’t see the best results if you’re just reading from a sheet of paper like a robot. The more visuals you can provide, the better so consider incorporating photos, charts, videos, or a hands-on demonstration into the safety meeting. If you can bring your team into the meeting so they really feel a part of it, the results you see will be much stronger. Throughout the meeting or at the end, allow time for questions and discussion. The safety meeting leader doesn’t have to be the one to answer all the questions, let veteran employees give feedback or tell stories based on their experiences if questions come up that they can answer.
Step 4: Follow-up
Consider asking for feedback at the end of or after each meeting. Be open to suggestions for improvement and solicit safety meeting topics from the team. If it was their idea and it’s important to them then they will be more likely to be engaged at the next meeting. After the safety meeting, consider a follow-up to reinforce the message. For example, this could be an email listing the key points of the meeting, a safety reminder posted on the bulletin board or a message that promotes safety that comes directly from upper management.
For topics to discuss at your safety meetings or ideas on how to engage employees in a culture of safety, call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435 for resources.