Communication Through Safety Committee Meetings
Monday, October 14, 2019 Ariana Naumovski
“Communication is key”; a very common saying that is sometimes overused, often making it meaningless. But when it comes to safety, communication is truly key. Constant communication for safety allows an organization to be transparent with its coworkers, staff, and management teams. It allows an organization to really be a team; there is a greater sense of respect for one another within the organization, safety becomes part of the culture, and accidents and injury rates fall.
One of the best ways an organization can communicate together on safety is through safety committee meetings. Safety committee meetings are a great way to educate employees on safety topics and concerns related to the organization.
Start off by making a meeting agenda with a couple key safety topics that the committee will discuss. Covering too many topics at once can confuse and overwhelm the audience and important information will be less likely to stick with them. Safety committee meetings don’t have any specific requirements. However, it is best to share the following information if and when they do occur:
- Accidents that have occurred recently
- Injuries that have occurred recently
- Near-misses that were reported
- Safe work and behavior that has been acknowledged
- Current safety trends within the organization, field, or OSHA
For safety committee meetings to be successful, encourage workers from all departments and all professional levels to attend. Allow all participants to share their thoughts and ask questions freely. An open discussion can help achieve this. Try to avoid lecturing to attendees about safety. Have attendees brainstorm solutions to hazards in the workplace. When employees are given the opportunity to have their voices heard and their solutions considered, they are more likely to accept and follow the new changes that are made. Consider using different learning methods to keep attendees interested and learning:
- Site inspections
- Actual case study scenarios
- Conduct a Root Cause Analysis
- PPE Inspection (Have employees bring some of their PPE to the meeting to inspect)
- Job Hazard Analysis
Many organizations opt in to have a safety committee meeting monthly. There is really no set frequency or agenda that a committee must follow. This can all be determined based on the size of your organization and the need for safety communication. However often your organization chooses to hold a safety committee meeting, make sure the committee goal is to be transparent and effective. What is discussed in the safety committee meeting should inspire and encourage all employees to take those discussed topics outside of the meeting.
Effective safety communication can save lives. Design your safety committee meetings to fit your organization the best way possible. Employees will gain enormous respect for the efforts in being transparent.
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