Holding regularly scheduled safety meetings and requiring employees to attend is a responsible business practice. Workplace safety increases employee efficiency, reduces downtime and insurance claims and can provide protection against potential lawsuits. If you are planning these meetings, tailor session topics to the types of work being done at your workplace. Don’t overlook obscure or unusual topics, however, since these can be just as valuable as those that first pop to mind.
Few areas of the country are immune to a weather emergency or natural disaster. Use the most likely scenarios for your facility to develop topics. Make a plan of what workers, supervisors and other staffers should do when facing flash floods, severe thunderstorms, tornados, earthquakes or other calamities. Discuss the plans and listen to the concerns of all involved.
All staffers should be concerned with the potential transmission of disease from pathogens -- such as HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis B -- passed on from blood or other bodily fluids. Giving first aid to a coworker and receiving cuts in the kitchen are common sources of exposure to communicable diseases. Explain the danger to all employees, how to guard against pathogens in an emergency and the proper protective gear to wear for custodial duties.
Working Alone If there’s safety in numbers, there can be danger in situations where people are working alone. A safety meeting can emphasize the need for workers to follow certain procedures when performing their duties solo. Some employers may want to prohibit climbing ladders, working in confined spaces, operating saws or performing other potentially dangerous tasks while alone. Establish and maintain specific work schedules and a check-in policy to account for lone workers in potentially hazardous situations.
Downsized workforces, unusual situations and atypical projects can occasionally require employees and staff to perform work outside their normal routine and responsibilities. Don’t expect everyone to understand all the necessary safety standards that can affect them or coworkers in these instances. Emphasize the responsibility of both the supervisor making these assignments and the employee to understand and emphasize potential hazards associated with people performing atypical duties.
Mike Schoonveld has been writing since 1989 with magazine credits including "Outdoor Life," "Fur-Fish-Game," "The Rotarian" and numerous regional publications. Schoonveld earned a Master Captain License from the Coast Guard. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife science from Purdue University.