OSHA

7 tips to make safety committee meetings successful

According to the provisions of OHSA Section 19, all employers have to ensure that their health and safety committee meets at least every three months. And these meetings have to be successful, of course, so that you won't have to recall them and get everything right the first time.

If you follow these seven tips, I can assure you your health and safety committee meetings will definitely be a success.

Use these 7 tips to conduct a successful health and safety meeting

Tip #1: You have to be committed!

It's essential for every member of the committee to be fully committed to the meeting and your overall health and safety programme. After all, the committee is responsible for setting the health and safety goals and explaining the roles and responsibilities to each and every committee member in order to achieve those goals.

Tip #2: Always go prepared!

Read through the minutes and prepare your responses before the meeting, but never at the last minute. You should make sure that minutes are typed and distributed within three days of the meeting and i you must set administration roles before the members of the committee gets together.

Tip #3: Be there, don't miss the meetings!

General practice revealed that one of the greatest barriers to achieving success in health and safety is poor attendance at committee meetings. If you, as a manager, don't attend the meetings, you put out the message that you're not committed to health and safety. And if the health and safety representatives also skips the meeting, their fellow employees won't get effective feedbacks. Bottom line: Poor attendance at these meetings undermines your entire health and safety programme.

Tip #4: Follow the agenda

Stick to the subjects you put on your agenda but avoid discussing 'general' issues. It's helpful to try drawing up the agenda a week before the meeting and issuing it then, rather than doing it in the last minute. And in the event that people want to talk about something other than what's already on the agenda, they must first ask the chairperson to include it. This will ensure a shorter meeting focused on key issues of the health and safety programme.

Tip #5: Have some props prepared

A picture or an example, or even a video if you have one, will best highlight any key health and safety issue discussed.

Tip #6: If you're a chairperson then... Chair!

Quite often committee meetings are "hijacked" by people who want to discuss anything else but what's on the agenda. It's your role as a chairperson to ensure that the discussion follow health and safety issues are discussed. You may have to shut down certain conversations, but this must be done if you want to keep each meeting focused and on track.

Tip #7: Hold members accountable

If you can't attend every meeting, try to be there at least for one meeting every three months. This will makes committee members accountable and it will ensure that repeat items are highlighted to senior staff in you organization.

So if you just bear in mind these simple tips, and put them to practice, of course, your health and safety meetings are definitely on the road to success.

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Alexandr Grigorev

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