Are your safety meetings worth the time you spend on them?
EHS leaders should treat safety meetings as more than company requirements or an added task to the to-do list. When conducted correctly, your safety meetings can have a lot to do with your daily safety program success.
What Is a Safety Meeting?
The term ‘safety meeting’ can be different things to different organizations. Loosely, it’s defined as an assembly that offers safety briefings, training, or instruction. These can be formal and planned ahead of time or impromptu. They could consist of a few quick announcements or involve safety sweeps or other action items. Topics and purposes can also vary greatly.
The whole purpose of a safety meeting is to bring safety to the forefront to create awareness or encourage active participation concerning a specific topic.
Your safety meetings give you a chance to add value and impact to your company’s safety program. Because these meetings happen face to face with employees or leaders, you have a captive audience that can provide feedback, offer input, or otherwise show they understand their role in your company’s EHS program.
How Safety Meetings Benefit the Organization
If safety meetings aren’t a requirement in your company, you should highly consider including them in your strategy. Yes, they add yet another task to your to-do list, but when conducted correctly they may also be able to remove other items from your agenda.
When you conduct regular meetings, you’re creating top of mind awareness for your employees to follow safety protocols, complete training, and get proactively involved in upholding a safe work environment.
Informed employees are safe employees. They can benefit from the direct face to face interaction, the chance to ask questions or provide input, or the motivation to follow company safety policies.
As a result, you may be able to benefit from fewer safety-related incidents and hazards that can add to your workload.
What to Include in Every Safety Meeting
Safety meetings look different to every company, but here are a few things you might want to include:
If your meetings are small, take note on who’s in attendance. For larger meetings, you might consider having employees sign in so you know who was part of the meeting. This is helpful for accountability and knowing who didn’t receive the information you presented.
You don’t have to put together an entire PowerPoint presentation (although these can be helpful visuals). But you should have something to help your audience follow along. Consider providing them a hard copy outline of your topic or other related information to illustrate your point.
End your safety meeting with specific instructions on what to do next. Do you want them to complete a quiz or training? Should you set a goal? Do you want the employees to go back to their stations and do a safety sweep or look for hazards?
The effectiveness of your safety meeting doesn’t lie in what you talk about – it’s about what happens next. Give your audience something to take away from the meeting that will add impact to your words.
A Follow Up Plan
In addition to supplying the next steps, you should take care to follow up and ensure those next steps were completed. This might take the form of another safety meeting to get feedback from the initial meeting. You might check to see if training was completed or other objectives were achieved. Whatever you choose, be sure you share any follow up details with your meeting attendees. This can help them to realize the importance of the meeting and how their participation influenced the outcome.
Making Every Safety Meeting Impactful
Safety meetings can be an effective tool in your EHS strategy, but only if you know how to make them impactful. Using tools like EHS software to organize your agenda and provide supporting data can help you put your meeting’s purpose into perspective for attendees. It also makes it easier for you to track and log meeting details, so you can measure your impact over time.
To find out more about how EHS software can help you add effectiveness to your safety meetings, start a free trial of EHS Insight to see how it works.