How to Conduct an On-Site Safety Meeting

Meetings require brevity and clarity, if you want your message received. Attention to your audience breeds attention to you. Think about the meeting as a three act play.

Act I: Define your world and its dangers:
1. On the construction site, in the plant, around the storage yard, in the warehouse:
2. Overexertion, Slips and falls, poor ergonomics, being struck by an object:
3. Causes X% of all injuries (those four mentioned total 72%)
4. So today's topic is important to your health and safety.

Act II: The lesson
1. Overexertion is the leading cause of job site injury.
2. Assess your load for weight and handle-ability
3. Are proper lifting devices available? Forklift, pallet jack, hand truck
4. Is help available for two man lifts?
5. Can you lift alone with proper technique?
6. Ask for any help you need to accomplish the task safely.
7. Complete the task

Act III: Define the New World of Safer Conditions
1. Overexertion is to be avoided
2. Assess the task
3. Ask for help or equipment
4. Complete the task.

All attendees should sign an outline of the topic acknowledging their understanding, and given a copy.

Act I takes one minute. Act II should never exceed seven minutes, five is better. Act III, two minutes, tops. Why so brief? Attention span is hard wired into humans and seven minutes per topic is about all you have to teach anything. That's why a good attention-getter like self-preservation works; you'll get the full seven minutes.

Act II is a good place for visual aids. Perhaps your company has a forty pound lift rule. Handle-ability might be demonstrated as a five gallon bucket of water or a forty pound eight-foot long bench. Both offer challenges, but the bench may require help for an easier task.

Act III is redundant. It wraps up the key points for emphasis. You might want to remind employees that safety is the number one employee benefit, we want you home safe at night. 

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