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Course 707 - Effective OSH Committee Meetings

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier
Don't wait to plan for the next meeting.

After the Meeting

You are not finished yet!

Another meeting has just been completed, you've thanked everyone for coming, and they're returning to their work. You kick back and "decompress." OK, back to the real world. It's time to get the paperwork done.

Following up on assignments and action items after the meeting may be the most important part of the whole process.

1. What is left to do when the safety committee meeting is over?

a. Get back to work
b. Finish the paperwork
c. Drink a tall cool one
d. Review Powerpoint slides

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What next?

Be sure minutes are accurate.

It's important not to wait to complete the meeting minutes. The longer you wait to finalize the meeting minutes, the less able you'll be to accurately put down on paper what happened, who was assigned tasks, and associated time frames.

While your memory is fresh, be sure to review and edit the minutes with the help of the committee recorder (two brains are better then one!). Here are some tips to consider:

  • Make necessary corrections in the layout, content, grammar, and spelling in the minutes.

  • Be sure to clearly indicate those members who have been assigned responsibilities in the minutes.

  • Include assignment completion or "drop-dead" dates for all assignments.
  • Attach written recommendations that were developed.
  • Attach management responses to previous recommendations.
  • Attach incident/accident report summaries.
  • Attach results of analysis, surveys, etc.
  • Attach the hazard tracking log.
  • Use the minutes to draft the next meeting's agenda.

2. Why is it important to review safety committee meeting minutes soon after the meeting has been completed?

a. OSHA requires a review within 8 hours
b. Someone might change the minutes
c. To assure minutes are kept secure
d. The memory is fresh

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Spread the word!

EOSWorldwide - How to Run and Effective Meeting.

Once you are happy with the quality of the minutes, distribute them to all members of the safety committee, supervisors, and managers. It's important that they know what the safety committee is doing. Sharing information helps increase understanding and that's good for everyone. Here are some other ideas to help spread the word effectively:

  • Post the minutes on a bulletin board in the lunch room or other busy area in the facility. Don't be afraid to "brag" about the safety committee's accomplishments. Let people know how the safety committee has improved the bottom line through effective safety and health. The safety committee can save lives as well as thousands of dollars.
  • To increase readership and interest, you can reformat the minutes to look like a newsletter or poster.
  • Another great idea is to develop a program that rewards employees who read the minutes and can answer questions.
  • Brief the meeting topics and decisions to members who were absent.
  • Send a copy of the minutes to employees at mobile worksites or field offices.
  • Keep the minutes for at least three years. You can file them in a notebook or a computer.
  • Make sure management responds to recommendations within a reasonable period of time.

3. What can you do to increase readership and interest in the safety committee minutes?

a. Distribute the minutes in an interesting format
b. Make reading the minutes mandatory
c. Identify those who have violated safety rules
d. Give copies to the local OSHA office

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Evaluate Meeting Process and Outcomes

Find out what members think about meetings.

The safety committee meeting may be your organization's primary forum for discussing safety and health issues. It's important to evaluate the meeting process to make sure its efficient and effective. The meeting is efficient if the process is conducted in a consistent and timely manner. The meeting should not be a waste of time. The meeting is effective if it achieves desired results. If the meeting isn't efficient and effective, the activity may actually be counter-productive in improving your organization's safety management system.

To make sure the meeting is both efficient and effective, it's important to evaluate the process and results. There are a number of ways to do that:

  • Survey safety committee members and others. Ask co-workers searching questions. Get their ideas, feelings, opinions, and beliefs about the meeting. Survey non-members to determine how well the information from meetings is being communicated throughout the workplace.

  • Interview individual members and co-workers. Sometimes you can learn valuable information that would never be captured on a survey. Ask them how you might be able to improve the safety committee meeting process and outputs.

4. If the safety committee meeting consistently finishes on time, it is said to be _____.

a. predictable
b. efficient
c. compliant
d. smart

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Shewhart/Deming Plan-Do-Study-Act Process
(Click to enlarge)

Improve the Meeting Process

When you decide some part of the safety meeting needs to be improved, it's important use a systematic process to make sure the change is effective. We encourage the use of the Shewhart/Deming Plan-Do-Study-Act process. Let's take a brief look at this process:

Step 1: Plan - Design the change or test. Take time to thoroughly plan the proposed change before it is implemented. Pinpoint specific conditions, behaviors, and/or results you expect to see as a result of the change. For instance, you may want to include a short 10 minute training session in each meeting. You'll need to carefully plan who will conduct the training, what format will be used, and what subjects will be presented.

Step 2: Do - Carry out the change or test. Implement the change or test it on a small scale. This will help limit the number of variables and potential damage if unexpected outcomes occur. Educate, train, and communicate the change to help everyone successfully transition. Keep the change small to better measure variables.

Step 3: Study - Examine the effects or results of the change or test. To determine what was learned and what went right or wrong. Statistical process analysis, surveys, questionnaires, and interviews will all help in this step.

Step 4: Act - Adopt, abandon, or repeat the cycle . Incorporate what works into the meeting process. Ask not only if we're doing the right things, but ask if we're doing things right. If the result was not as intended, abandon the change or begin the cycle again with the new knowledge gained.

5. Why is it important to implement or test a change on a small scale?

a. To best form the results
b. To know the outcome
c. To better predict the impact
d. To limit the number of variables

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.

Final Exam
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