The Importance of Safety Meetings
More safety meetings mean fewer accidents.
You strive to ensure that workplace accidents don’t occur.
You follow every standard that OSHA sets forth. Unfortunately, no matter how proactive you are, accidents still – and will – occur.
Using Safety Meetings to Prepare
You spend the time being proactive, but what about those times when you must be reactive?
What’s your plan those times when an accident does occur?
Safety meetings and a documented safety program are crucial to the success of your business.
Here are five ways you and your team can prepare for an accident:
Emergency Action Plans
Start from “what if…”.
Every company faces unique threats and therefore, must plan to respond accordingly.
Everything from the tasks being performed to the environment determines the plan(s) of action you’ll need.
This involves more than just creating plans for industrial incidents. Natural disasters are important to pay attention to as well. Everything from earthquakes in
As we are currently seeing with the onslaught of hurricanes in the South, natural disasters need to also be taken into consideration.
Earthquakes in California; tornados in Kansas; blizzards in New York: all of these can create emergency situations.
Figure out how your company plans to deal with them before they happen.
Besides natural disasters, there are other plans you should be making:
- Plan for evacuations
- fire responses
- chemical spills
Take into account all possible threats that may affect your job site.
Plan escape routes, muster points and assign tasks and responsibilities.
Be specific with these assignments too – leaving them open-ended often leads to inaction or confusion.
Emergency Supplies on Hand
Having emergency action plans in place means you can take the next step and evaluate what sort of safety supplies and equipment you’ll need.
Make sure everyone knows where the equipment is located, when it should be used, and how.
Safety supplies require maintenance.
Knowing how to use a defibrillator in the case of cardiac arrest is great – unless the battery is dead.
Patching up a bleeding employee can be easy if the right bandages are on hand, but what if the kit is empty?
Keep inventory and inspect equipment on a regular basis. Ensure that first aid kits are stocked.
Regularly test and charge equipment that will be used in the event of an emergency response situation.
Educate & Practice
Safety meetings are a time to cover all your bases., but in the hands of inexperienced people, they are useless. You need to practice response plans to
An emergency plan is only as useful as those expected to carry it out. You need to practice response plans to
You need to practice response plans to condition your employees’ reactions in an emergency.
Teach why actions are taken, and practice them regularly.
The goal is that when the time comes, your employees instinctively know how to react.
Education and practice can also be a team-building experience for your company.
During safety meetings, natural leaders will surface. This will give you an idea of whom you can expect to step up in an emergency.
Bring in Emergency Services
Safety meetings can prepare for many potential hazards. However, there will be times on a job site or in a manufacturing facility where emergency services must be called in.
In these cases, every second is crucial.
Unfortunately, some sites can seem like a maze, making it hard for emergency responders to provide a rapid response.
Map out your workplace as part of your safety program. Put the map somewhere that it will be visible and on-hand, should it be needed.
Providing emergency personnel with accurate and up-to-date maps of your facilities will help shave off critical seconds, which can sometimes be the difference between life and death.
Build a Relationship with an Occupational Clinic
Not all accidents will require a call for help or trip to the emergency room.
You’re likely on top of your workers’ compensation policy and corresponding insurance company, but are you neglecting your local occupational clinic or rehabilitation facility?
The occupational clinic should know your expectations as a company.
Do you drug test for all accidents or only certain ones?
What is your return-to-work policy?
Do you offer restricted or light-duty tasks for injured workers?
Having answers to these questions up front will help the clinic work with your employees.
Safety meetings are all about preparation. Preparing for an accident can not only lessen potential financial impacts, but it can save lives.
Preparing by practicing at regularly scheduled safety meetings will equate into faster response times when needed.
At the very least, it can limit injury; at most, it may save a life.
This will not only improve employee morale, it will instill confidence in your company (not to mention reduce medical expenses).