Occupational health, safety and environment meetings are an important way to ensure effective communication of information between supervisors and workers.
First of all, we need to understand that safety meetings are important to any workplace, regardless of the nature of the business.
When there are many hazards involved in the workplace, the stake in safety meetings is higher.
In general, a safety meeting is to educate everyone in the workplace about the hazards around them and advise them on the best way to act safely. In this meeting, we address preventive and proactive measures to preserve our safety and the safety of everyone around us. It can be either a planned meeting or an impromptu quick meeting before a specific task.
There is no specific procedure or duration for holding a safety meeting. It depends entirely on the workplace and the knowledge of the employees and the risks involved
Why should you hold regular safety meetings?
When a new employee joins a company, the person is thoroughly briefed on safety principles, risks, and hazards. But for someone completely new to the workplace, it can be difficult to remember all the precautions and protocols at once. This is when conducting regular safety meetings helps the most.
Create a behavior routine
Even when someone is not aware of the hazards and safety precautions, going over them at the safety meeting at periodic intervals will remind them to follow the safety protocols. You will create awareness among all to support safe practices and ensure they remember it. The more you keep repeating the same safety instructions, the more the staff will internalize and work accordingly.
Create a safe workplace
Regular safety meetings can improve the overall safety score in the workplace. Sometimes, when you’re tackling a new and challenging task, you might conduct a safety meeting before outlining safety protocols and possibly a live training session.
Evaluate employee understanding
A security meeting should be a two-way conversation. As you teach safety protocols, you should also know how well employees understand them. By talking with the team, you can test the employee’s understanding and ability to retain and help them correct mistakes.
When should safety meetings take place?
Normally, every employee should review all safety protocols at least once a year.
However, a safety meeting can be as spontaneous as a few minutes before a task or months ahead of schedule. It is best to conduct safety meetings:
- during the onset of transformation
- at the end of the shift
- before starting a new mission
- After switching to a new section
Every company should hold safety meetings at least once a month. You can choose safety meeting topics based on current activities and common hazards. Many companies have a Safety Theme of the Month program to regularly create awareness on the various safety meeting topics.
Apart from monthly safety meetings, you can advise department heads or managers to conduct safety meetings based on the suitability of existing operations.
For example, if there is any repair activity in a particular unit, those employees can go to specific safety meetings and training based on their individual responsibilities. Or when a group of workers is assigned to perform a task that does not fall within their usual responsibilities, you can run an automated safety meeting to quickly determine what precautions to take and what risks to watch out for.
There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to safety. Thus, you can conduct safety meetings as often as needed.
Occupational health, safety and environment meetings are an important way to ensure effective communication of information between supervisors and employees.
• All supervisors and managers must be prepared to hold periodic meetings on a regular basis, provided that they are well-coordinated and prepared – in a brief manner, during which matters related to safety, occupational health and the environment are explained and discussed.
• When these meetings are carefully planned, they give effective results, a good investment of time, as well as motivation for participation – and the opportunity for everyone to be exposed to the same amount of known information during those meetings.
• Safety, health and environment meetings encourage team spirit and create an atmosphere of cooperation among attendees.
• The material presented for discussion must be developed in a manner that can be viewed by supervisors and managers – and a library must be created to allow access to it in order to develop the presentation process effectively.
• It is necessary to take into account the establishment of a measurement for holding these meetings in terms of the period of convening and the time period between each meeting – as well as those who hold these meetings.
• The meetings should give advance readiness to follow up and ensure that the points agreed upon have been taken into consideration.
• A 10-15 minute weekly safety meeting by supervisors is recommended – but managers should also be involved to confirm their safety commitments.
• As a model for standard meetings, they can be:
Weekly meetings held by supervisors.
Monthly meetings involving middle management.
Quarterly meetings attended by the Assistant Director General.
Annual meetings in the form of a presentation to senior management on the main points of safety, health and the environment.
• Consideration should be given to examining the size and status of the group attending the meeting and the proportionality of the information delivery and message.
• The primary and main factor for achieving and maintaining a high measurement pattern is that these periodic meetings must be attended by every employee as a process of raising preventive awareness.
• A pre-planned major safety issues as well as recent incidents should be considered for discussion
Lessons learned from them.
• A brief record or minutes of these meetings must be made, including the points being discussed, the date, as well as the names of the people who attended the meeting, as well as those in charge of the meeting, as well as any work that was agreed upon.
• This must be taken into consideration the work of training supervisors on how to hold the meeting as well as how to discuss issues of occupational safety and health and the environment effectively.
What does a typical safety meeting look like?
While the nature of safety meetings is the same across industries, the manner in which they are conducted varies based on company choices. Typically, spontaneous or unscheduled safety meetings occur on or near the store floor. A scheduled meeting may be held in the office area or in the control room at a specific time.
In a safety meeting, a safety officer, manager, or other responsible person explains safety protocols while a group of people listen. The responsible person may use visual aids and physical actions to count.
After explaining, the person usually opens the floor to anyone to ask questions. A responsible person may not always have to answer questions and can promote discussion among peers.
Toward the end of the meeting, the person in charge will attend and instruct the employees on the next procedure – visit the shop floor, start any activity, perform any safety sweep, or return to their previous job.
Tips for making safety meetings effective and engaging
While safety is essential, employees may not always devote their 100% focus on it. Therefore, if you want your message to remain consistent, safety meetings must be engaging. Here are some tips on how to do that: Meetings
Keep Safety Meetings Short: When an employee leaves a few tasks on hand for a safety meeting, they may not always be focused for long. So keep your safety meetings short and to the point so that employees get the message you intend.
Use visual support as much as possible: Just talking about security protocols is not enough. When using visual aids such as real equipment or physical movements, everyone can absorb the information quickly.
Narrate real experiences: If you have an employee who successfully managed a safety hazard, ask them to recount the experience. Such interactions will help maintain interest.
Get to know those who did well: When someone did a great job addressing a safety issue, get to know them during a safety meeting. This will motivate them to follow safety protocols further.
GET FEEDBACK: Don’t want to know how your security meeting went? And if there is anything you can do better? Ask for open feedback or use any short, anonymous surveys to get suggestions.
A few examples of safety meeting topics
There are hundreds of safety meeting topics depending on which industry you are in. Here are some of the important elements that are common to most businesses.
Carbon monoxide safety
Because carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, it is one of the greatest hazards in the manufacturing industry. This gas is generated during the incomplete combustion of fuels such as coal, wood and natural gas, which are commonly used in many factories. Employees should be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning preventive measures, its symptoms, and immediate steps to take.
Burn injuries are very common on the shop floor. There are several types of burn injuries – thermal, physical or chemical – most of which are caused by human negligence.
As part of safety meetings, employees who frequently participate in high temperature locations should be educated to wear the necessary personal protective equipment and take precautions to prevent burns. Even when remission occurs, employees must take immediate steps to reduce the severity of the burn.
Heat stroke safety
Employees who work in a hot environment, such as near boilers and furnaces, and are exposed to heat for long periods of time are prone to heatstroke. It can damage internal organs, the brain, or even lead to death.
Staff need to be advised about hydrating themselves regularly, taking breaks from being in the heat area and immediate treatment for heatstroke.
Slips trips falls
According to OSHA, slips, trips, and falls account for 15% of accidental deaths. Employees need to be aware of their surroundings and wear required personal protective equipment when working in difficult areas to prevent such incidents.
Aside from these safety meeting topics, there are a few that should be visited more often:
Handling of hazardous chemicals
Risks due to distractions in the workplace
Hand tool safety
Motor vehicle safety