3 Types of SAfety Meetings
Written by Eric Petersen, CIC
One of the main pillars of any organization’s safety culture is communication. Without effective communication around safety, a tree care owner will not be able to intentionally create their desired safety culture. The best way to improve communication around safety within your company is by simply creating a structure or cadence to your safety meetings. Many tree care companies follow a safety meeting schedule similar to what I’ve outlined below, but if you haven’t put the formality to your meetings, hopefully this will help you do so.
To keep things simple, I like to use 3 types of safety meetings when coaching tree care companies.
Weekly – 20-40 mins with production/in-field team – Often called tailgate safety meetings, these weekly meetings are quick meetings focusing on one direct topic and are usually done at the start of the work day with your production or in-field team. They are not intended to be used as in-depth training sessions, but rather reminders to applicable job hazards that your team faces each day. There are plenty of resources on the internet for tailgate safety topics, however, one of my favorites is the TCIA’s Tailgate Safety Program. Have a sign-in sheet for each of these so you can document who was in attendance.
Monthly – 1 to 2 hours with all employees – I feel it is very important for everyone in your company to gather together for a monthly safety meeting, including office staff and your sales team. These meetings should focus on broader safety topics that include near miss conversations, updates on progress of safety goals, upcoming season changes and other company-wide announcements. It is a great time to communicate items to the entire team and build camaraderie across departments. This meeting should be run by your safety committee and kept on task with a standard agenda that you use every time.
Quarterly – ½ day or longer training – This is where the real training and employee development happens during regularly scheduled training time. It is too easy to get too busy and struggle with finding time to perform safety training, so block it out ahead of time. Utilize your safety committee to create topics and a schedule for the Quarterly meetings so they run efficiently and provide the most value to your team. Hiring outside trainers is a great way to enhance Quarterly meetings.
Remember safety should not be viewed as an expense, but rather an investment as the dollars that your organization spends in lost time, decreased or interrupted productivity and insurance deductibles/premium after an accident all come directly out of your bottom line. If you ever want to look at the financial impact of an injury use OSHA’s Safety Pays website to see how much an injury actually will cost your company. It’s mind-blowing!
If you are struggling with making your safety meetings worthwhile or how to improve upon the structure of your safety meetings, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today to get signed up for our Thrive Safety Package.