How to Conduct a Safety Meeting

Safety meetings are a useful tool in managing the safety risks in the work environment, and should be part of a comprehensive safety program.  A good program will include a method for reporting incidents and issues, a process for dealing with them and a feedback channel that encourages employees to participate. 

MEETING PREPARATION

  • Before the meeting takes place, set ground rules and communicate them to the attendees. Rules such as “no finger pointing” will help open the discussion.
  • Announce the meeting. This may seem obvious but some people get so wrapped up in preparing for the meeting that they forget to let everyone know when and where it will be.
  • Prepare the agenda. Pick out the topics ahead of time and collect the safety data you want to present. Put it all together and decide how it will be presented. If possible, publish the agenda ahead of time so the attendees will know what to expect and will be prepared. 

CONDUCT THE MEETING

  • Start the meeting precisely on time. The attendees will not take you seriously about safety if they can’t trust you to start on time.    
  • Briefly introduce each point on the agenda. An audience that knows what to expect as the meeting progresses are more attentive.
  • Inform the audience about safety reports and incidents that have occurred since the last meeting. Give as much detail as you can without identifying individuals.  This will help people stay focused on the issue. Let the audience know what happened and what is being done with respect to those issues and any other safety issues that were resolved since the last meeting.
  • Pick a safety topic that applies to your organization and spend a little time discussing preventative measures and proper preparation. Allow free discussion, but make sure the discussion stays on topic. A good way to encourage participation is to get someone in the organization to present this portion, but always make sure they know about it ahead of time. Watch the time—running long is worse than starting late.
  • End the meeting with some kind of positive recognition. This can be someone who identified a key safety issue, performed an outstanding safety act, or the unit with the best safety record for the past rating period, whatever that may be. The point is to end the meeting with positive reinforcement that everyone can see.

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