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How to Conduct an Effective Safety Talk

Holding regularly scheduled safety talks with employees is an effective and often underutilized way to communicate jobsite or work-related safety. They help to address common issues and identify specific safety concerns. In turn this raises employee awareness and can prevent incidents and costly injuries.

Specifics of holding an effective safety talk meeting:

  • Meetings can be held monthly, weekly or even daily depending on the need and type of work being performed
  • They should be interactive and relatable to employees, not canned or read directly from a sheet
  • Topics should be relevant and directly relate to work being done, tools or equipment being used, hazards specific to the industry, current season etc.
  • When developing a training calendar, focus on the training needs for that specific time during the year or current tasks and skip a topic if it doesn’t apply
  • Keep the meeting interesting by using statistics, props or telling a related story
  • Make the risk real to employees to make a greater impression; this can be done by sharing videos or true accounts on how quickly events can change or how a small incorrect decision can change an outcome
  • Avoid being vague or overly general; make material site or work area specific
  • Avoid placing blame when discussing incidents or potential incidents such as “carelessness”
  • Only allow experienced employees, who have the respect of their group, to host safety talks
  • Ensure meetings are held in a safe and quite area away from work area
  • Meetings should be held in the language employees speak with multiple meetings or translation if necessary

Work to gain employee participation:

  • Employees should be included in identifying workplace or site issues
  • Discuss how the topic can affect the group of employees specifically in the meeting; have them join in with examples
  • They should be involved in coming up with suggestions for change or solutions
  • If something can be made hands-on, do so
    • Specific safety features on new tools or equipment
    • Specific personal protective equipment to be used by this group of employees
  • When possible, providing handouts can be a useful physical and visual aid during a meeting as well as a good review for later


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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