Podcast Title: Health and Safety to Go!
Episode #: 151: 8 Tips to Make Your Health and Safety Committee Meetings Effective
Introduction: Welcome to Health and Safety to Go, broadcasting from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
Host: Thanks for joining us. The joint health and safety committee plays an integral role in working with the employer to help create and maintain a safe workplace. The success of any committee depends partly on how well the committee meetings are organized, maintained and conducted. Today’s episode is full of tips to help make your health and safety committee meetings more effective.
Setting a meeting schedule is a good place to start. Set the committee meeting schedule for the next year to make the meeting dates as predictable as possible. This allows people the time to plan, prepare for the meetings, and manage their schedules. Prioritize items which have appeared more than once on the agenda and make sure they are addressed during your meeting.
Make sure you notify committee members about the new schedule well in advance. You can post the meeting schedule on notice boards and electronic scheduling tools to make members and others in the workplace aware of meeting arrangements. Another tip to consider: remind all committee members of the meeting a week in advance.
Keep the meeting organized with an agenda. You can create an agenda that includes items submitted by other members and circulate it to the committee at least one week before the meeting so that everyone is aware of what the priorities will be for the upcoming meeting.
A big part of having an effective meeting, is keeping the meeting on track! The Co-Chairs of the committee should start on time and move the meeting along by following the agenda and keeping the discussion focused on health and safety matters, within the time available. Table any items that cannot be addressed within the time frame for a future meeting.
Consider adding an educational component to the meetings. You can set aside time at every meeting for education, which may include talks from inspectors, suppliers, or experts on equipment or procedures, or watching a training webinar or video.
Are there any issues that need to be tabled? If so, state the issue clearly in the inspection reports and meeting minutes, based on known facts. Next, you need to investigate the issue to discover the root cause, and then recommend corrective actions. End all discussion items with a decision and definite outcomes, indicating what action will be taken and by whom.
While the meeting is in session, make sure you keep accurate
and clear minutes, as well as actions from inspection reports as permanent
records of the meeting. Include the time, date and location of the meeting, who
attended, items discussed, recommendations and rationale. Also note where and
when the next meeting will be.
Lastly, keep all employees informed by making meeting decisions and reports easily available. Post and distribute in print and electronically all your committee’s activities.
For more information and resources that can help you make your meetings more effective visit www.ccohs.ca. Thanks for listening everyone.