Safety Meeting Tips

6 min. read

Tips and ideas for effective safety meetings in the workplace – how to keep your employees safe.

Meetings are needed in a workplace for many reasons, and meetings that cover safety issues especially, depending on the type of workplace and the degree of danger that employees might face on a daily basis. Safety in the workplace is a very important issue that needs to be consistently considered. Having regular get-togethers to go over important safety meeting topics will help keep your workplace free of accidents and injuries. Keeping your employees and team members safe is part of the responsibility you take as a company when you hire people and have professionals in your care. You have to take measures to ensure no harm comes to them and make sure that they are protected. Running a successful safety meeting could be the difference between life and death – so make sure you get them right.

Workplace Safety Tips

Sharing workplace safety tips often is not only necessary, it is the best way to make sure you can help build top of mind awareness when it comes to safety. Putting safety first is the only sure way to get people to adhere to rules, guidelines, or specific ways of doing things that save lives and keep people secure. No employee is invincible against potential workplace hazards. Some accidents may seem like they should never have happened but one small slip-up and fingers can be lost or worse. Doing your part means ensuring each person understands what safety measures have been put in place and why they are there.

What is a safety talk in the workplace?

Safety talks have other names as well. Looking out for these will help you learn how to be safer at work. All of these names work just as well for a safety talk or briefing.

Toolbox talks

Moment of safety

Tailgate safety meeting

How to run a successful safety meeting:

Location. Make sure that your meeting location is relevant to what you are going to be presenting or talking about. If you’re demonstrating how to safely operate a machine or piece of equipment, it wouldn't make sense to have the gathering in a place that doesn't have the equipment – like a boardroom or an office. Setting your meeting at a specific site helps people get to grips with the actual tasks at hand and familiarize themselves with any hardware or equipment first hand and see it in action.

If you choose to have the meeting in a classroom setting or lecture hall make sure the space you choose is the right size to be able to hold everybody comfortably. Most important is to ensure that the venue, no matter where it is, has anything you require for your presentation. Do you need a whiteboard or a projector? Can everyone hear you? Do you need a microphone? If your team members can't hear you properly they will miss important information and that could lead to someone getting hurt or worse.

Method. How are you going to get your information across so that the team members on your watch totally understand what is being presented? If you need to do a demonstration you will have to plan on making sure that the folks who need to operate any equipment can do so safely and effectively. Safety training can also be conducted by holding a discussion where concerns are aired and safety protocols are suggested or gone over in detail.

If the people who're working have any worries about safety, especially in the manufacturing or construction industry, they should be heard and acted upon. A good way to make sure they got the information is to give a talk followed by a question-and-answer session or a hands-on demonstration, where the attendees put the information to practical use.

Making certain that whatever safety management protocols are understood is one thing but you need to be certain they can use the data they have been given. It is no use doing a presentation on first aid and just showing them slides and a written explanation. If they need to be able to do CPR or bind a wound and have no practical sense of applying their knowledge in the real world the safety culture of your organization has set them up for probable failure.

Giving your team visuals so that the information is digested easier goes a long way. Pictures can tell you more than a thousand words, so show them what you are talking about. Animating your presentation is relatively easy to get done these days. Diagrams and a shortlist of key points so that it is easy to refer to later can be a great addition to a safety meeting. Think about making a short video that shows whatever workplace safety issues need to be addressed or safety measures that need to be adhered to. Being able to rewatch something to get the point across means you have more chance of maintaining a safe workplace.

Understanding. Give a short quiz at the end of the meeting to make sure they got the information and can act on it.

Humor. While injuries are no joking matter, the meetings themselves don't have to be dry or boring. A funny video or cartoon could break the ice at your next safety talk as well as illustrate a point. Studies show that humor can help engage employees better. Studies found that humor makes people pay closer attention when they find it funny. They also retain information better. Making people laugh can also make them think. Don't just tell a joke or be funny for the sake of getting a laugh. Safety briefings deal with serious issues, but if you use humor directly related to the topic being taught it could make it more memorable and enjoyable as well.

Harold Clurman once said, "The truth is like castor oil. It’s difficult to take and hard to swallow, so we get them to laugh and while their mouths are open, we pour a little in."

Ways to use humor as a teaching tool:

  • Showing a funny comic or cartoon to help illustrate an important point.
  • Using a humorous mnemonic to help remember a key concept.

Embracing the Safety Culture for employees

When you hire new folks you have to get them on the same page when it comes to safety. Starting off on the right foot means you don’t have to unlearn bad habits later and get them into the swing of things straight away. Helping integrate them into your safety culture is the best way to make sure that they get it and can work within the parameters of your safety boundaries. Setting expectations early makes it easier for them to stay safe on the job.