17 Tips on How to Stop Wasting Time at Your Safety Committee Meetings
What’s the point?
An effective Safety Committee has a significant impact on health and safety throughout the organization’s culture, and may also save the company money through reduced workers’ compensation costs, fewer lost workdays, and increased productivity due to higher employee morale.
The purpose of a safety committee is to reduce the risk of workplace injuries & illnesses, inform and educate the employees about safety and health issues throughout all levels of the company, and to set meaningful and attainable goals for safety throughout the organization.
Make the commitment
A safety committee must be valued by the highest levels of management for it to continue to be effective.
Safety committees are just a start, and when combined with a comprehensive safety program with onsite safety training, clearly demonstrate your company’s complete commitment to your employees well-being and pride.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL SAFETY COMMITTEES:
- Include employees from all levels of the company, from line workers to upper management.
- Promote the opportunity for all members to provide input, questions, and concerns.
- Have a consistent, set schedule for safety committee meetings that includes a structured agenda pertaining to the short term and long term goals established by its members.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID:
- Lack of communication – Meeting agendas should be well established. Having a consistent meeting date and time will improve any miscommunication for future meeting dates. Make it mandatory for your members to attend each meeting.
- Undefined Roles – Clearly define the responsibilities for all members and make sure every member at each level of management understands their specific role within the committee. Divide the committee into specific groups with a mix of upper management, mid level, and entry level employees to work together on the assigned tasks.
- Lack of follow up – Hold members of the safety committee accountable for their responsibilities.
- Lack of management commitment – Include upper management as members in the safety committee. Research shows that visible upper management support makes a meaningful impact on workplace safety.
MAKE IT INTERACTIVE AND FUN!
- The safety committee meeting shouldn’t be a dreaded event or a means for employees to express dissatisfaction with management. The meetings should be informative, collaborative, productive, and fun. Here are several ideas to bring some fun to the safety committee meetings:
- To celebrate a short-term goal, hold an NFL themed safety committee meeting where members wear their favorite team’s jersey and bring a football snack
- Celebrate the achievement of long term goals by promoting the accomplishment with a company-wide event. It will motivate employees to continuously work towards the health and safety goals and bring awareness to all other employees of the safety and health accomplishments.
- Hold an election annually for certain leadership positions within the safety committee. It will allow a change to occur within the committee to avoid complacency.
- Toward the end of the meeting, allow each member to present a safety or health tip for activities pertaining to outside of work. (Example: Remember to wear a life jacket when you’re on a boat.)
- Come up with a safety slogan for the company. Have employees throughout the company submit suggested slogan which represent the safety culture of the company. The safety committee can vote on the best slogan to use.
- Once finalized, consider hanging the slogan on a banner or making T-shirts for employees to purchase.
IDEAS ON WHY YOUR SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING MIGHT BE FAILING:
- One main reason Safety Committees still continue to fail is the lack of focus on specific work-related injuries within your own organization. Take the time to analyze every injury or near miss in the workplace in every safety committee meeting. If you don’t have the proper written records, contact us immediately to implement OSHA-required reporting.
- All employees should feel free to express any concerns or issues regarding any injury or near miss. Take the time to make corrective actions and follow up if you implement any new policies or regulations.
AND THE BEST TIP, START A SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING IF YOU DON’T ALREADY HAVE ONE!!!
If you haven’t formed a safety committee within your organization yet, what are you waiting for?
The benefits of having a committee (lower insurance premiums, additional discounts for companies in certain states, increased employee morale, and many more) far outweigh the benefits of not having a committee (none!). Contact Lancaster Safety today for help setting one up!