Developing a strong safety culture is important for maintaining an accident-free workplace. Presenting safety topics in all-hands meeting formats is an effective way to instill a strong safety culture. It send a message that every day starts with safety. Developing a varied and engaging safety agenda will ensure topic effectiveness.
Effective safety topics for the workplace have two focuses: workplace safety and home safety. Daily workplace topics should focus on education about current safety concerns, such as heat exhaustion, wet floors, missing machine guards, broken equipment, installation of new equipment, or information on a recent injury or accident. There are times when there are no relevant workplace updates. On these days the introduction of topics that focus on home safety are useful. The topics can include: electrical safety for Christmas time, water safety or cross walk safety. Selecting a mix of topics will show employees that you are concerned about their safety, both inside and outside of work.
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Effective safety topics grab the audience’s attention; pictures, video or real-life stories are all effective for showing people the result of an unsafe behavior or safety infraction. Get your audience to relate to how their lives and the lives of their families would be affected if they were injured at work. Develop questionnaires to get insight into what safety topics people would like to know more about. Use injury trends over time to determine which areas need greater focus. Use statistics to support the topic you are presenting.
Addressing safety topics in all meetings held within a workplace is important. Pre-shift meetings, team meetings, planning or training are all meeting formats that should start with a message about safety. Keep topics short and factual; use some tools to drive the point home. Topics can be pre-planned over a number of weeks to present a series related to a season, holiday or the installation of new equipment. For instance, a series for the summer could include vacation safety tips, U.V. safety or heat exhaustion.
Involve employees in the safety topic preparation. If your organization utilizes employee ownership for safety programs, have the owner present topics from his program. An example of program ownership is a production line employee owning the ergonomics program; he is responsible for auditing fellow employees and ensuring compliance with safety program requirements. Seek out employees that have a passion for something outside of work that has a relevant link to safety and ask them to prepare a safety topic.
Angie Oney has over 10 years experience in food manufacturing, in the fields of operations management, continuous improvement and human resources. She has a deep interest in green living, natural soap making and enjoys making pottery. Oney holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and a Master of Science in management, human resources, from the University of Akron.