How to Conduct a Safety Stand Down Meeting

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OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has a standard that requires employers to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions in the work environment. Consistent safety training on a regular basis is an effective way to raise awareness of safety hazards and prevent accidents and injuries. Stand down typically refers to a work stoppage, but in the case of safety training, a stand down is a time out of the work day for safety education.

Draft an agenda or structure for the stand down meeting. The agenda can include confirming all attendees have signed in, presenting the introduction and purpose for the stand down, reviewing the training on the topic, having the group check their work areas for safety hazards with a checklist, collecting safety information from the group, reviewing the information with the group, discussing solutions, assigning follow-up on safety solutions to be implemented, and closing the stand down meeting.

Review the safety topic and research it, find training information on it, and prepare training materials to present at the stand down meeting. OSHA has a wealth of training resources at www.osha.gov. Prepare handouts on the topic to give to employees after the meeting to reinforce the training and safety awareness.

Schedule the stand down meeting and confirm attendees. Let people know where and how long the meeting will be. Publish the agenda. Management and supervisors should be aware and supportive of safety training.

At the scheduled time, have attendees sign an attendance sheet that has the safety training topic, date of the training, and name of the trainer(s). Open the meeting by introducing the topic and stating the purpose(s) for the meeting. The purposes can include a demonstration on the company's commitment to safety, to identify and reduce unsafe workplace practices and conditions, and to increase safety awareness.

Review the topic with the group, then have the group review work areas to identify hazards on a checklist. Use the checklist(s) to discuss solutions and implement followup.

Give employees the handout(s) on the topic for reference after the meeting, and close the stand down with an overview of the training and what will happen next about the safety topic.

Tips

  • Get employees involved in safety training by asking for their experiences with safety and accidents.

    Plan to have regular safety stand downs on relevant safety issues specific to the company or industry.

    Document all safety training; coordinate with human resources and a safety or compliance manager.

References

About the Author

Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.

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