Safety talks or safety meetings are reminders and about the importance of health and safety in the workplace. It is usually done in forms of general meetings or assemblies and facilitated by a health and safety supervisor or a guest speaker that specializes in workplace safety. Safety meetings, however, are simply reminders; the workers or employees must still receive formal training in safety measures and healthy practices in the work premises. Safety meetings are especially important in industrial worksites where health and environmental hazards abound.
The purpose of safety talks is to review with the employees the basics of safety and to make sure that they are able to recognize every health hazard so they can properly control and prevent those hazards. The goal of a safety meeting is to make the employees responsible for the promotion of health and safety in the work environment. In the meeting, the employees must be given concrete examples and scenarios of how a hazard may affect the health and safety of each worker. The employees must also be encouraged to participate in identifying current issues that pose as hazards and come up with ideas on how to control such occurrence.
Safety meetings must be conducted on a regular basis with the frequency depending on the type of workplace and the type of industrial hazards commonly present. Each meeting must focus on the current issues observed around the work area. Of particular note in these meetings are instances when safety precautions are overlooked or some hazards are not properly managed.
The topics discussed in safety meetings must be timely and seasonal too. In the delivery of the talks, the speaker must be able to demonstrate scenarios using real equipment or tools that are present in the workplace. The employees must be shown how a thing could be a hazard how some other things can be used to remove or protect from hazards. Since safety talks are very important, the attendance and participation of each worker should be compulsory and a record of each meeting and its attendees must be duly taken.
Below are some of the basic safety topics that can be discussed in almost every type of workplaces, including offices:
The science of coordinating your working posture and the equipment or fixtures you use is important. Maintaining proper ergonomics will avoid body strains and aches which may lead to discomfort that can affect your body movements. A simple back pain or neck pain can be a big deal especially if your job involves the use of your back or neck in executing tasks.
Proper body mechanics
More than just coordinating your movements with the things you use, your body must also react or move in a coordinated way that will prevent posture problems and discomfort. One important factor is lifting safety; you must use the right movement and the right body parts in lifting objects. For example, if you were to carry a box of paper to the copier room, you have to bend your knees to reach down for the box rather than just bending your back and stretching your arms. The mechanics of bending by the knee will prevent strains on your back and arms during lifting.
Simple coffee or water spills can be very dangerous; a person might step on it and slip. A slip can cause various injuries to the victim including hip and leg injuries, or worse, head trauma. It is important to keep the work area floor dry and spill-free. If spills cannot be prevented, wiping and cleaning up after every spill should be a priority.
Almost every workplace uses electricity in the operation of equipment and appliances. The employees must be trained on how to detect electrical equipment problems. The importance of proper plugging and unplugging of such devices should be emphasized. It is also important to discourage employees from bringing water or any fluid near electrical devices to prevent the possibility of spilling the liquids on the device and cause short circuits. These can also cause the accidental electrocution of the device operator.
There many other important safety topics that should be emphasized to every employee. If you do not know how to start or organize safety talks, you can hire an expert to take over the role of reminding and training your employees on workplace safety.