11 Handpicked Safety Meeting Topics for Manufacturing

Keeping a manufacturing workforce up to speed and engaged with the latest advice for creating a safer working environment is an integral part of a QHSE professional’s job. However, coming up with new safety meeting topics for manufacturing can prove difficult. This is why we have handpicked this list of subjects, together with download links of example talks. We hope this can make your life easier!

Why Are Safety Talks Important in Manufacturing?

Unfortunately, 2018 was the first year since 2012 when the work-related incidence rate of OSHA-recordable cases did not fall. This is a worrying trend across all industries, including manufacturing. 

During the last full year for which there are figures, there were 2.8 recordable incidents per 100 full-time workers in the U.S., with the rate for days away, restricted, or transferred from work (DART) rising to 1.6 from 1.5.  Considering these rates, we can say that safety toolbox talks have never been so important in manufacturing. 

11 Handpicked Safety Meeting Topics for Manufacturing (Free Download)

Here are some safety meeting subjects to use in the manufacturing industry. You will find a free download next to each to a sample safety talk on that topic. You can use it right away or adapt it for your particular business. 

1. Slips, Trips and Falls

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The production and manufacturing industry suffered 17,160 injuries and 39 deaths from slips, trips and falls in 2018. The National Safety Council insists that falls are 100% preventable and offers many resources on how to achieve that goal. When covering this topic in a safety meeting, include information on avoiding falls, both from heights and on ground or floor level. 

2. Equipment Use and Maintenance

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There are many subjects to include in your safety talks when it comes to equipment use and maintenance. Many are specific to the numerous different pieces of equipment used across the manufacturing sector, so you should adapt talks to fit the needs of your workplace. Other topics are universal across the sector. These include meetings about tidy workspaces and the importance of maintaining an organized environment for safety and efficiency. 

3. Incident, Hazard and Near Miss Reporting

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Informing workers of the importance of reporting incidents, hazards and near misses is hugely important in creating a safe environment. These are especially important safety meeting topics for manufacturing. Such a discussion shows how seriously you take safety in your business and encourages employees to come forward if they witness anything without the fear of recriminations. 

4. Workplace Ergonomics

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Spotting the ergonomic elements that risk the health and safety of workers can sometimes fall to the backburner but it’s very important for manufacturing companies. This is why QHSE professionals in this industry should spend time with employees focused on identifying risks and offering solutions for problems with workplace ergonomics.

5. Musculoskeletal Disorders

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A musculoskeletal disorder can affect your back, neck, shoulders, hands, wrists or elbows with a number of symptoms, including stiffness, limited mobility, and tingling. They can be caused by practises commonly found in manufacturing, such as bending, repetitive movements, force when lifting heavy objects, and more. As this is such a large topic, it can be done separately from the main ergonomics safety talk. 

6. Fatigue

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Your workers can suffer fatigue both as a result of their daily tasks, but also due to not getting enough quality sleep. You can remind them how to spot the signs of fatigue, what to do if they feel they are tired and how to combat it. 

7. Fire Hazards

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Fires can cause a huge amount of damage in the manufacturing industry, as well as risking the lives of workers on site. Your safety talk can take in a host of related topics, including how to spot risks before they develop into a blaze. It should also provide clear information on using fire extinguishers, and the reporting process within the business to nullify hazards once spotted.

8. Fall Prevention and Protection

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Fall prevention is integral to safety in a manufacturing environment. Accidents can happen in a split second and have devastating results for a worker, their family, and the workplace in general. Detailing how to avoid falls and integrate fall protection at work should be major points in your safety training.

9. Safety Equipment & PPE

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Safety talks about PPE and other safety equipment should cover how to match the correct PPE with the task at hand, how to wear the equipment correctly to stay safe, and how to maintain it as well. Personal protective equipment is a huge element in the fight to ensure workplace safety. 

10. Electrical Safety

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Electrical safety covers all manner of topics from avoiding electrical shocks from power cords, heaters and other appliances, to using electrical tools as part of your job in as safe a manner as possible. Workers should also be aware of overhead power lines when performing their duties. 

11. Lockout/Tagout – The Control of Hazardous Energy

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Manufacturing is the most cited industry when it comes to lockout/tagout incidents in the workplace. For staff who maintain and service equipment, the lockout/tagout procedures in your workplace are essential to their safety. If they work on a piece of equipment, they need to know that it won’t start up or release stored energy, which can lead to serious injury or death. 

Bonus: 7 Manufacturing Safety Tips

Here are some tips to help promote safety precautions within your manufacturing company:

  1. Promote frequent breaks – Breaks help workers who perform repetitive or awkward movements during their shift avoid musculoskeletal disorders. They can also prevent fatigue and combat heat stress in hot environments too. 
  2. Upgrade your safety culture – Creating an open and fair safety culture provides workers with the confidence to report issues without the worry of being blamed or punished for drawing attention to hazards. 
  3. Listen to employees – Your employees are your eyes and ears on the work floor and can alert you to potential hazards before they cause accidents. By showing that you actively listen to what they have to say encourages them to report these risks, which helps prevent accidents and incidents in the workplace. 
  4. Make regular inspections – Inspections are the best way to ensure that your safety culture is working and that everyone is following those procedures. If everyone on the site knows that inspections happen regularly, it encourages them to keep the environment free of hazards and well-maintained. 
  5. Provide ongoing safety training – Regular safety talks refresh workers’ minds when it comes to procedures and sets them up for the rest of the day with safety fresh in their memory. It also allows everyone to keep up to date with the latest procedures and regulations.  
  6. Promote clean and tidy workplaces – Keeping the work environment tidy and clean helps prevent trips and falls, as well as helping the good maintenance of equipment in the workplace. The 6S rule applies here: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain, and safety.
  7. Bring in outside advice – In order to maximize the safety standards in your workplace, consult with police, fire and insurance experts for their best practices when it comes to staying safe. All contributions help you improve standards in your business. 

FAQs

How do you make a manufacturing safety meeting fun? 

Some safety topics can be a little dry, which can cause some employees to switch off in safety meetings. To keep things fun, you could show videos, encourage interaction and even play some workplace safety games. These can help workers engage with the messages because they don’t feel like a stuffy lecture. Examples include making anagrams of safety slogans for employees to work out.

AnagramReal Slogan
Tysaef si on denactci Safety is no accident
Tsand pu rof fesaytStand up for safety
Nuacoit, drea neth eecdropCaution, read then proceed

How do you write a safety meeting?

When writing a safety meeting, you need to think about how you will engage your audience. For a start, make sure your topic is relevant for your workplace and try to link it to real incidents that have happened there, or hypothetical incidents that could occur on your site. Make the agenda brief and to the point. Don’t expect workers to sit through a long lecture, so make sure there are opportunities for contributions. 

You can ask questions about their experiences or ask for any questions they might have about the topic. Make sure that everything you write helps to drive home the point you are trying to make. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted and move onto other topics — meetings on those subjects can wait for another day! 

See this article for more things to consider when holding a safety meeting. 

How long is a safety meeting? 

The ideal length for a meeting depends on the frequency with which you hold them. Once a month, a 45 meeting is fine. However, if they are every week, they should be shorter to combat meeting fatigue. As a rule of thumb it’s best to pick safety meeting topics for manufacturing that will potentially take around 20 minutes. You need to prevent a situation where workers fear meetings because of how long they take, and remember that they also have work to do! 

Besides, limiting the meeting time allows you to focus and streamline the topic for maximum effect. If you need to fit your safety talk in a tight work schedule, see our list of 100+ short workplace safety topics for inspiration.

Conclusion

Regular safety meetings and toolbox talks are essential for instilling your company’s safety culture in your staff. They help you keep up to date with the latest regulations and keep safety issues at the forefront of everyone’s thinking. It can be tough to keep thinking up new ideas to tackle, however, so we hope these safety meeting topics for manufacturing will help you save some time. 

References and Further Reading