The moans and groans can be heard throughout the room when a safety meeting is announced. Often times people assume that safety meetings will be long, boring, and basically only tell them the stuff they already know. Unfortunately, this is the truth for some businesses. Would you want to attend your fifth safety meeting on blood borne pathogens if the meeting is 45 minutes long in a crowded room with nearly 50 other people, while the presenter reads directly from a piece of paper? I know I wouldn’t. Safety meetings have become somewhat of a have-to-do instead of a want-to-do, and if safety meetings continue along the same path, it is hard to see that mentality change. However, it CAN CHANGE!
Safety meetings don’t have to be uneventful, boring training sessions where many employees are crowded into one space just waiting to flood the exits when the meeting is complete. One of the big components missing in safety meetings is impactful interaction! Read below to learn some helpful tips to make your next safety meeting a success.
Tips for Interactive Safety Meetings
- Keep it Snappy – Don’t hold an hour long safety meeting regarding one topic. The average attention span of an adult is right around 20 minutes so safety meetings really should not exceed that length of time.
- Get to the Point – Don’t try to fit in five different safety topics into one safety meeting. If you do this, many employees will simply glaze over after the first two topics have been presented. It is best to keep the meetings focused on one pertinent topic and stay on that topic.
- Engage People – Reading purely from a text only presentation is a big no-no! Instead, presentations should be engaging and feature real life photos and/or videos. Safety professionals from the community such as firefighters, paramedics, or other safety professionals could also be invited to host or speak during a safety meeting.
- Socialize – By nature, humans are social beings. Most times, people like to talk with one another. Even though a meeting may be short, there should always be at least one opportunity built into the meeting for people to share stories or experiences pertaining to the safety topic.
- Make it Pertinent – Keep safety meetings fresh and pertinent. Don’t hold a safety meeting on the topic of a specific machine if that machine is barely in use anymore. Choose safety topics that affect employees on a regular basis or that are the most helpful based upon their job position.
- Don’t Invite Everyone and their Grandmothers – Safety meetings are often best and make the most impact when attendance is limited. When too many people are present, people tend to shy away from asking questions or being truly engaged. If possible, try to keep the attendance levels low to about 20 or less people per session.
If safety meetings are not meaningful, it doesn’t make much sense to even have them. The whole point of having a safety meeting is to increase awareness and safety skills so employees are able to work as safely as possible while on the job. Put some thought into your next safety meeting and make it count!
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