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THAT SAFETY MEETING

Safety meetings are a cardinal feature of all safety programmes.

It doesn't matter much whether they're scheduled, impromptu or otherwise, you can't escape them anyway. Visit any worksite and you're sure to hear something about a safety meeting. It may be about the agenda for the next one due or how boring and ineffectual the last one was. Meetings can be exciting, appropriate and to the point. So also can they be a major turn off, dull, uninspiring, uninteresting and sleep-inducing.

There's probably nothing with a greater potential to harm workplace team safety interest than a poorly organized, poorly conducted safety meeting. If it isn't 'productive' in terms of the 'takeaways' then there'll be little or no incentive for the participants to give it any memory space. Safety meetings are supposed to be like refueling stations. They provide opportunities to recharge your knowledge bank of batteries via real time experience-sharing, discovering hitherto hidden 'whys' and 'hows', etc. If in the end no such 'productivity' is realized or perceived, then time spent is  more or less a wasted. 

Unproductive meetings are often poorly planned, poorly led, unstructured, and finally cast adrift by a domineering supervisor or leader. If he/she is dispensing wisdom and knowledge in a 'know all', do-not-question-me-I-know-what-am-talking-about fashion, then you can safely kiss it goodbye. In which case, it would have been much better for all concerned if the leader sent a memo of 'instructions' round in the first place. Simply herding hapless employees into an enclosure to let loose with a torrent of 'this is how we do it here' is a team safety spirit killer of epic proportions. It is most unadvisable. If it is a meeting with a singular objective for workplace safety, then everyone must be allowed to participate or contribute for the common good of all.

Unfortunately, the reverse is often found in practice. Some workplace leaders simply do not know when to let go. They prefer to preach when they ought to be exchanging ideas or speaking when they should be listening. By so doing they lose or isolate the very same people whom they're working ever so hard to 'safeguard', which is quite pointless really. If team members do not feel part of the overall picture, very little will be achieved no matter the effort expended by way of meetings. Especially if they are not clear, focused, practical, relevant and direct to the point of application. Supplications and prayerful workplace safety meetings will do very little for set targets, objectives and overall programme performance. Make that next safety meeting count by doing the right thing.

It can help your cause a great deal.

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