Running OSHA safety meetings time after time can lose some of the spark as an effective training tool. We've all been to safety meetings that missed the mark—topics were not pertinent, sessions ran too long, disorganization ruled—and we’ve seen safety training forgotten as soon as the meeting was over.
How can we avoid safety meetings that don't work? What can we do to get the most effective training for the time, energy, and dollars spent in safety training?
We talked with directors of safety programs at large and small companies that have been awarded OSHA “Star” status for their outstanding safety and health achievements, and several successful tactics for running safety meetings emerged:
- Carefully time the length of meetings. If you hold meetings once a month, keep the length at 30-45 minutes; once a week, keep it 30 minutes or less with 20 minutes as the ideal length. The longest meetings should run no more than an hour.
- For construction work, have short, informal tailgate safety meetings of 5, 10, or 15 minutes before work once a week, with a longer talk at least once a month or at the start of each phase of the construction project.
- Schedule topics over a long period—a year is most common. The schedule provides reasonable deadlines for the trainer and helps others plan their working days.
- Select meeting topics on the basis of 1) a review of the most recent types of accidents and near-accidents, 2) related corporate safety goals, 3) any particular subjects that need to be covered from a legal or insurance standpoint, and 4) your basic list of safety topics to be reviewed.
- Occasionally, have the senior management person at the location open the meeting and sit in—it’s a sign of commitment.
Without constant reminders about safety,
tend to forget, get sloppy, take risks, and have accidents. Safety meetings are a great refresher, and keep your
abreast of changes in the regulations, safety procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and job assignments and responsibilities. Refresher training is also sometimes required by law, and having a pre-planned weekly meeting is a convenient way to go over required training.
BLR has an extensive selection of training resources on safety meetings, as well as practical compliance analysis. Safety.BLR.com has hundreds of sample safety training meetings and other training resources in several time-saving formats:
- Safety Meeting PowerPoints®
- Construction safety meetings
- Training tracker forms
- Refresher training outlines
- Meeting checklists
- Safety meeting outlines for healthcare workers
Our knowledgeable editors continually add new OSHA training meeting topics. If you need a safety compliance solution, BLR has it!