How to Conduct Safety Meetings

Safety meetings are an important part to a successful construction business.  Your objective may be to remind employees of safe practices or conduct training on a new technique, equipment or regulation.  However, without an engaging training the concepts may not be fully embedded into your employees’ practice. Here’s more information on how to conduct safety meetings.

It’s an unfortunate reality that individuals only retain about 10% of what they hear or read.  In other words, it’s critical that the safety training use tactics that have sticking power.  This will help ensure the safety information achieve the intended results.

Be prepared
Make sure you have everything you need and it is in proper running order.  Using audiovisual equipment will help captivate your audience, but it has been working! Dealing with technical difficulties during training will make your employees feel like their time is being wasted.

Also, make sure if you use DVDs or Power Points that the information is upbeat and current. If you can’t project your voice loud enough, make sure you have a sound system so the information can be heard.

Create a comfortable atmosphere
Temperature and lighting can affect attention.  The room shouldn’t be too cold that trainees are uncomfortable or too warm which can make individuals sleepy.

Make participation mandatory
Consider using round tables so that discussion can be built into the training.  The more the audience participates the more likely they’ll remember the information.

Make it fun
Find ways to add spice to the training.  Contests, games and activities may at first make your employees uncomfortable, but they’ll enjoy the participation and interactive nature of the training. And guess what, all these factors will help them retain the information.

Have someone take notes
It’s likely that even with a mandatory training someone will be absent.  If you can use a good note-taker or videotape the training, the absentees will still be able to benefit from the training.

Use different teaching strategies
Every person learns differently.  So, incorporating as many different learning styles into training will increase its effectiveness.  For instance, watching a DVD, having a discussion and playing a game will allow three very different learning styles to obtain information and the different strategies will increase retention too!

Make it hands-on
If there is a way you can make the information into a hands-on demonstration the information will be retained better.

Know your audience
Handouts should contain visuals and be in the native language of the employee.  Be sure to use these strategies, if you are concerned about low literacy levels or non-native English speakers.

End your meeting in a positive way.  Taking time to let employees provide feedback through an anonymous questionnaire will help them express their thoughts on what makes a good training.  You can use these suggestions for the next meeting.  If possible end with a game or with prizes to reward those who attended and it helps to reinforce the information learned. Using these strategies will make your safety training meeting not only more fun and enjoyable for your employees, but you’re more likely to achieve the intended result!