Here’s something you can be certain of. No one has ever been inspired to work safely or to follow safe work procedures simply because it’s the policy. Safety policies are necessary to set baseline expectations, and they can guard people against unsafe conditions if people follow them. But they are incapable of instilling an internal motivation in people to be safe on the job. That requires a focus on people over policy if the goal of our safety meetings is achieving safety excellence.
So far we’ve covered five tips in this series on making safety meetings stick: (1) “lead it, don’t read it,” (2) “ask, don’t tell,” and (3) conduct roving safety meetings, (4) make “safety meeting leader” a floating role, and (5) use props and visual aids to reinforce your points. There’s one more tip we want to address to help improve our toolbox meeting effectiveness.