According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one of the most effective ways to promote a safe working environment is to get involved in company safety meetings. Since safety is our top priority, we’ve gathered some tips to help you make the most out of our company safety meetings.
Why safety meetings
Informal, brief meetings allow you the opportunity to stay up to date on potential workplace hazards and safe workplace practices, such as machinery use, tool handling, equipment use and safety-minded attitudes — basically anything that may contribute to accidents or illnesses in your workplace.
To engage employees, incorporate the following into your safety meetings:
Agenda items. Build an agenda and circulate it before the meeting. Work with a small group to define the focus of the meeting and what success will mean. An agenda creates an expectation of value and participation. Anticipation is a powerful emotion.
Safety processes and tools. Talk about safety procedures, tools and resources. There is a sense of confidence in knowing that an employee has the right tools for the job and the best processes for keeping them safe. Employees who are confident in their safety make better decisions.
Current information and safety practices. What may have worked ten years ago may not today. Employees want to know that they can feel safe in knowing that the information they receive is current and the best way to stay safe.
Motivation. Help unlock your employees’ motivation to want to be safe. If they are missing the internal motivation to want to be safe, then you are going to be forever chasing them into compliance. Once they have a desire to be safe, they buy in to the safety program as a personal value.
Recognition and feedback. Feedback and public recognition can help build a strong safety culture. People won't improve if they don’t know how they are doing. When employees do good, safe work, they should be recognized. This will boost morale, encourage desired behaviors and aid with retention.
A variety of media. Individuals learn differently. If you must use PowerPoint slides, use them sparingly with one idea or image per slide. Videos can be helpful in combination with discussions and games. Involving people helps the audience retain the message.
Games and competitions. People have a natural desire to compete, and you can tap into that with games and competition. Be sure they have a purpose to either educate or inspire. Think “Safety Bingo” or “At-Risk Jeopardy.”
Follow-up. Reinforce the key points of the meeting by getting back to the participants. Send articles, bullet lists, and links with resources, as appropriate, a few weeks after giving a safety talk.
Safety is about preparedness — yet safety meetings often do not meet that standard. Frequently, safety meetings get thrown together at the last minute. This does not inspire confidence from employees.
Regardless of your job title, working safely is everyone’s responsibility. For more information about our Safety Hotline or other workplace safety issues, please contact us.
Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting clients can use our Safety Hotline to call or email our safety experts about a variety of workplace safety issues. Our safety specialists have degrees in safety management, risk control and engineering, with real-world industry experience. They have worked with hundreds of employers across all industries to build the critical intellectual capital necessary to answer your questions, and provide solutions that actually work. For more information about our Safety Hotline, please contact us.