How to keep your safety meetings fun
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Safety in the workplace isn’t just about following certain rules and processes. It’s about people having an all-hands-on-deck approach to keep themselves and others safe. Creating this environment within their team isn’t the easiest task to uphold for safety leaders. But routine safety meetings are a great tool to get your team accustomed to your safety procedures.
Keeping these meetings fun and engaging may not be your #1 priority but it might help you get closer to achieving your safety goals. According to OSHA, successful safety and health management systems can significantly reduce injury and illness.
Imagine what can change if these routine meetings become something that your employees look forward to instead of drifting off or looking at their phones?
By spicing up your training, meetings, or toolbox talks, you can scale your workplace safety campaign and raise awareness around safety.
Get everyone involved
Make sure you give everyone a chance to share their thoughts or concerns. Using real-life stories relevant to your team’s tasks will draw their attention more and allow them to join in the conversation. Try starting off with a story that could stop them in their tracks like the horrific Bumble Bee Foods incident.
Ask “Why?” questions, or even more specific ones like “How often should you conduct a maintenance inspection for fire extinguishers?” to make sure everyone leaves the room with the relevant information.
You can assign a “safety leader” for each meeting and ask them to show ergonomic safety practices or proper use of PPE. OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide states that peer-to-peer training has proved to be effective, participatory, and well-retained.
The cliché stands; “A team that laughs together, stays safe together” -or something along those lines. Crack a few jokes or use a funny or light-hearted training video instead. Here’s a favorite of ours that you can use as an icebreaker.
This tactic will help your team absorb information better. If comedy isn’t your strong suit, resort to gamification. Take the time to occasionally turn these meetings into a healthy competition, with a pop quiz or a game of safety charades where everyone takes part. If it becomes an experience rather than a monologue, they will be more likely to become aware of procedures.
Keep it short and sweet
Don’t ditch the presentation but try to rely on multiple learning types and have a balance between a slide deck and hands-on activities. An 8-hour meeting on OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout procedure might sound like the best practice but consider the fact that your team might be less likely to remember detailed concepts as opposed to snippets of important information. You may get more out of having shorter but frequent meetings in terms of productivity.
Whatever method you prefer to use in your safety meetings, one thing you should always consider is to ask for feedback. Get your team’s opinion on how confident they feel about certain safety procedures after the meeting is conducted. Ask for constructive criticism on how you can improve your methods of training and orientation. Make sure to not miss the fact that workplace safety relies on the cooperation and inclusion of everyone in your team. For more on workplace safety, check out Frontline’s blog.