Safety meetings are a proven method to bring hazards to the attention of workers, get their opinions about how to avoid injuries, share experiences, and develop and improve loss control measures by giving safety concerns greater attention. Much of your required training can be done at these meetings. Below are some easy steps to follow that will help you hold a productive meeting with your employees. Follow them, and you will get their attention and see results.
- Target – Concentrate on just one or two subjects for each safety meeting. Discuss real problems. Perhaps you’ve had someone injured on the job or had a close call. Have you noticed any unsafe acts or conditions on the job?
- Prepare – Practice what you’d like to say and how you want to say it. Be brief and to the point. If you are providing training, make sure the materials you use are appropriate and complete, including visual aids. Invite a qualified individual to your meeting to provide training that you or your employees cannot provide yourselves.
- Timing – Hold your safety meeting at the beginning of the day, at the end, or at lunch, when everyone is together and not occupied with other tasks.
- The Meeting – Introduce the targeted safety problems and any training to be done. Emphasize their importance. Use your employees to help with training. Often they know as much about a topic as you do—or more. But it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any training done is correct and complete.
- Employee Input – Ask workers for ideas and suggestions to improve safety. Try to give each employee a chance to speak. Get all views. Loggers already know the best solutions for avoiding injuries on the job. Using a suggestion that comes from your employees has a better chance of being put into practice than one you try to impose on them.
- Get Results – Try to get all to agree and pledge to use the solutions to problems discussed and implement any training done. Encourage them to remind each other while working. Thank them for their contribution. Say that you will expect them to follow through, and that you will appreciate it if they do.
- Documentation – Keep a record of who was at the meeting, the date, and what was discussed or what training was provided. It is best to have each employee sign the record. It is required that the employer or trainer sign.
- Frequency – Try to hold frequent safety meetings. OSHA requires at least one safety meeting each month. Remember that the longer you wait between meetings, the more time you will need to go over everything that needs to be discussed. It is difficult to hold long meetings on multiple subjects that keep everyone’s attention. Brief, focused, frequent meetings are best.