Creating a culture of safety and health engages all levels of organization and sets up the safety and health meeting as a routine element of operations aligned with overall business targets (Viridian Health Management, 2012). The basic keys to make such meeting a successful one are the following:
- Correspondence to company’s individual features: structure and implication of meetings differ according to company’s organization, directivity, and peculiarities;
- Place and atmosphere, i.e. comfortable location, absence of distracting elements (noises, light);
- Timing and simplicity: usually, the meeting should not be longer than 30 minutes including enough time at the end for feedback and questions. Information should be simply presented and contain no more than three main ideas (“Safety committees”, 2009);
- Precision: exact safety and health issues should be discussed focusing on recommending possible solutions;
Motivation: the whole meeting process should develop positive safety and health attitudes in employees;
- Written agenda helps to make the meeting structured and clearly defines its goals;
- Visual aids and exhibits that were prepared beforehand make understanding process easier.
A questionnaire that was conducted in Canadian manufacturing firms proves that injury rates are lower among the workers attending safety and health meetings. In addition, workplaces with lower lost-time frequency rate benefitted by having Joint Health and Safety Committees with more executive functions and greater worker involvement (Sybil, Christopher, Harry & Lynne, n.d).
The “controlling authority” at safety and health meetings can be different and depends on the specific organization. Among the “controlling authority”, there are usually the meeting organizers, safety supervisors, members of Safety and Health Committees, professional safety advisors, and management representatives.
In conclusion, managerial and worker participation in occupational health and safety initiatives characterizes safer workplaces (Sybil et al., n.d). The results of safety culture change include motivated and empowered employees that positively influence health-care costs and increase workers’ productivity (Viridian Health Management, 2012).