How to Conduct a Safety Meeting
A safety meeting, although an important part of training, can often be pretty boring. With the use of audiovisual equipment, however, you will not only hold the attention of all involved, but your employees will remember what they have learned as well.
Depending on the industry, safety training may be a regular part of monthly meeting agendas. The main objective of a safety meeting is either to remind employees of safe practices they have already learned, or to introduce and build awareness of new techniques, new equipment, or new regulations that must be observed.
The only true measurement of whether or not a safety meeting was a success or not is if the materials provided were presented in such a way that the employees and other attendees were able to retain the information provided, and implement these tactics into their everyday work habits.
Conducting a successful and interesting safety meeting takes planning on the part of the individual in charge. Simply reading safety procedures from a manual is not the best way to maintain a captive audience.
It is a well known fact that most individuals only retain 10% of what they hear or read. If this is true, then your safety meeting has to have some definite bells and whistles involved in order for you to achieve the intended results. Here are some tips for a well run safety meeting:
- Do create the ideal atmosphere: A successful meeting may require more than just chairs and a speaker. Think about the equipment you will need. Depending on the size of the room, you may need a pa system rental.
- If participation is expected (and it should be), seating is important: The use of round tables works best. If only chairs are involved, arranging them in a U-shape allows all to interact without anyone being able to slink into the back row to avoid interaction.
- Comfort: Be sure the meeting room is a comfortable temperature and the lighting is proper. These factors have been proven to help learning and retention.
- Taking notes: Assign someone to take notes or minutes during the meeting. Use a tape or digital recorder to ensure accuracy.
- Add some spice: Games, activities, and contests that promote interactive participation can make a dull subject come to life. Audiovisual aids, such as DVDs, Power Point presentations, or slides can add a level of interest that will cause more of the information to be committed to memory. Don't use outdated slides or training materials that are obviously from another time period. Upbeat, current videos and presentations will hold the interest of all involved.
- Rent equipment in advance: Be sure to have your equipment, such as a notebook computer rental, video player, overhead projector, or rental speakers at least a day in advance so that you can properly test and review the materials to be covered. During the meeting is not the time to deal with technical difficulties.
- Vary training techniques: Different individuals learn in different ways. Using a variety of techniques will insure that the information will be understood by all. Using videos is a smart option. When videos are used in combination with discussions, retention levels can increase by up to more than 50 percent.
- Literacy levels and language concerns: If some employees have lower literacy levels, or if English is not the native language, consider including handouts and visual text (such as PowerPoint presentations on a rental digital projector) written in several languages to accommodate all attendees.
- Hands-on examples: Along with any other methods of training, hands on demonstrations are an excellent way to drive your point home.
Be sure to end the safety training meeting on a positive note. A quiz with prizes, an evaluation form for feedback, and a question and answer session are all good ways to reinforce the material just before the meeting comes to a close.
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