Safety meetings are an excellent opportunity for supervisors, managers, and safety leaders to provide updates about workplace safety concerns, industry topics, and other information to employees within the company. However, when the same topics are hashed out year after year, the effectiveness of safety meetings can quickly diminish. Mix up your safety meetings with these new safety meeting topic ideas.
Ditch the ‘Good Enough’ mindset
When it comes to workplace safety, ‘good enough’ is never enough. Complacency towards potential safety hazards is a huge red flag that an accident or injury is just around the corner.
When employees have been working in a particular position long enough, they will often develop their own way of completing tasks – even if they’re not exactly the right way. When employees cut corners or create ways of finishing work that just barely satisfies standards, it can put themselves and others in the workplace in danger. Safety team members can help avoid the “good enough” mindset by emphasizing the importance of doing the job the right way every time and taking steps to address the underlying causes of this mindset.
Safety meetings should properly inform and train new employees to identify and understand potential risks in the workplace and the steps that can be taken to protect themselves and their coworkers. Beyond just identifying potential areas or specific machinery where incidents are most likely to occur, employers must educate new employees about how to report safety hazards. Additionally, leadership should explain and promote the importance of an overall culture of safety. If employees see that management takes safety seriously, they’re more likely to follow safety rules, avoid shortcuts, and discard the “good enough” attitude.
Shift work dangers
To meet operational demands, it’s not uncommon for companies to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shift work is a fact of life for more than 15 million Americans who work 10 or more hours a day. Industries that require shift work frequently top the list of those with the highest injury rates, so making sure that employees and supervisors pay special attention to the dangers of this kind of work is critical.
Those individuals working second and third shift jobs are especially susceptible to hazards or injury due to disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which tell us when to sleep and wake. These disruptions can affect a person’s ability to concentrate on their work or deal with stressful situations. When conducting safety meetings, employers should ensure that shift work employees are aware of the hazards of:
- Decreased focus: Lack of focus can quickly lead to mistakes and injuries. It’s vital that employees focus on the task at hand, especially when working second or third shift when they’re more likely to be tired. Employers may consider offering “brain breaks” periodically throughout each shift to help improve focus.
- Workplace violence: Sometimes attributed to the increased stress of evening and night work, second and third shift employees have a greater risk of encountering an incident of workplace violence. Safety team leaders should make sure that shift workers are aware of the warning signs and that every employee knows the proper reporting procedures to help de-escalate the situation.
- Fatigue: Of all of the potential safety issues related to shift work, fatigue is the greatest danger. When employees report to work already tired or become overly-tired during the course of their shift, the likelihood of a fatigue-related incident grows. From slips, trips, and falls to incidents involving equipment or machinery, the impairment that fatigue can cause should not be underestimated.
What’s the danger today?
Instead of safety concerns coming directly from employees, do you often find that your safety team is dictating workplace hazards? This may be a sign that your employees aren’t thinking about their own or their coworkers’ safety. Get employees involved in the process by starting each shift with a short safety meeting and a deceptively simple question: What’s the danger today?
When employees use a piece of equipment day-in and day-out, they can quickly become blind or numb to the dangers posed by that piece of machinery. By asking employees to think critically about the potential hazards of their daily work, your safety team can encourage employees to be more mindful and aware of their jobs and the potential risks associated with them.
Encourage employees to identify hazards in their workspace and the solutions that will correct the underlying issues. With a transparent reporting process that allows employees to see the results of their hazard report, the safety team can provide a clear demonstration of the workplace changes that are occurring as a result of employees asking and answering the question “What’s the danger today?”.
Your partner in safety
Keeping your workforce safe is priority one for your company. Sheakley can help you develop better policies and assist you with creating comprehensive safety programs to help you achieve your safety goals. Our experts are here to keep your employees and your business safe. Sheakley’s Workforce Management Services experts provide complete safety resources for your company.
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