How to Make Your Safety Committee Work

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We take safety very seriously in the material handling industry. Deadly hazards are everywhere and accidents happen all the time.

“OSHA estimates that forklifts cause about 85 fatal accidents per year, 34,900 serious injuries, and 61,800 injuries classified as non-serious.”

Having an effective safety committee is critical to the success of your business. So if you don’t have a safety committee yet or you think your existing committee could use some sprucing up, take a look at our list of easy and helpful tips to make your workplace safe and healthy.

  • Have a stated mission – Keep it simple by stating the obvious. The Safety Committee is there to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. The other main objectives should be to deliver safety information to the employees, as well as solicit feedback and suggestions.
  • Determine the size of your committee – This will be determined by the size of your company, and by how many departments your company has. There is somewhat of a balancing act that comes into effect here.
  • Get participants from though out the company – Starting a Safety Committee is useless without employees buying into the program. To ensure everyone feels involved, it is recommended that you choose employees from every level of the company. According to The Safety Management Group this will accomplish two major goals: first, it will ensure that the committee’s information is distributed throughout the entire company; and secondly, it will maximize suggestions and feedback.
  • Establish goals – Besides the obvious goals of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses, an effective safety committee needs to set smaller more detailed goals in order to reach those accomplishments. Routine safety checks are an easy way to achieve the ultimate goals. The State of Oregon has an assortment of printable checklists available at*Remember that each state may have different rules and regulations regarding safety.
  • Have organized and effective meetings Having a printed-out, detailed agenda is key to keeping a safety meeting on track. You will be covering a long list of topics that can create very in-depth conversations about employee safety. While it is very important to ensure that everyone at the meeting is allowed to have a voice, use your agenda to guide you in keeping the discussions on point. Setting a start and end time to your meeting is also a helpful strategy.
  • Keep meeting minutes – When you start your safety committee you will need to designate someone to take the meeting minutes. This person should be responsible for taking good notes during the safety meeting, then typing them out and distributing them. Make sure the minutes are clear and to the point in order to capture your employees’ attention. A great place to display your meeting minutes is on a safety board.
  • Display your goals and results – What good is establishing goals if no one knows what they are?  Let EVERYONE know what you are trying to accomplish. This will help create buy-in. Your safety board should be decorated with informational materials and most importantly the goals and results you are trying to accomplish.
  • Celebrate Success! – When you achieve your goals, recognize it! Let the company know that all of their efforts in creating a safe working environment were appreciated. *Don’t forget to recognize or reward employees for little acts along the way to achieving your success.

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