When was your last safety meeting?  Was the meeting last week, last month, last quarter, or do you have a difficult time remembering?  Also, do you remember the topic of the meeting?  If you do not remember when the last meeting was, or the topic, chances are the Crew members will not as well.

Demands of a restaurant are considerable.  In addition to keeping the store clean, making sure stock is readily available, and new employees are brought up to speed on proper procedure, the assembly time for sandwiches is measured in seconds.  As a result, sometimes important things like safety meetings can be moved down on the list of priorities.  Safety meetings need not be long and drawn out to be effective.  Safety Team meetings can take as little as 20 minutes, with training for individual crew members being even shorter in duration.  Here is how to make the meetings easy, short, and effective:

Sometimes coming up with topics for safety meetings can be challenging.  Safety meeting topics can be easily found in your Safety and Security Manual, as well as the Besnard website.  The Besnard website has 12 safety meeting lessons that are in both English and Spanish. There is also attached documentation to record recent incidents, opportunities for improvement, and a sign in log to record attendance.

If you need safety meeting lessons, contact us.

Videos are also present that vary in duration, with many being 30 seconds in length.  These are great tools to be used for training employees and spot checking when an employee is performing a task improperly.  The videos can be found on the web site, look for the video tab at the top.

The following guidelines are important when setting up and delivering safety meetings:

  • Watch the Safety and Security e-learning course at the first team meeting.  Those joining the team after the initial meeting should review the information before attending their first meeting
  • Hold meetings once a month
  • The meeting should follow an organized agenda established by the team leader
  • Keep the meetings focused and short, approximately 20 to 30 minutes long
  • Have team members sign in
  • A designated team member should take meeting minutes
  • Review the minutes from the last meeting.  If there is unfinished business or discussion points needing further review, the discussion should be continued
  • Discuss any accidents to determine root causes and corrective actions
  • Encourage brainstorming, suggestions, and ideas for enhancing safety in the workplace

Taking minutes and reviewing previous minutes will ensure that nothing is lost from meeting to meeting. Encouraging brainstorming and asking for suggestions will increase the knowledge of your crew members, and also let them know that their input is important.  Remember, if they come up with the solution to a problem, it is more likely that they follow through to make sure that solution works!

A safety team should also be set up at all locations.  If you currently do not have a safety team at your location, the following guidelines should be used for recruiting safety team members:

  • Determine the number of management and crew members on the team
  • Ensure that all major work activities are represented
  • Identify and talk with potential management and employee team members regarding safety team participation
  • Appoint and notify team members.  Crew members may be selected by election or by soliciting volunteers
  • Inform all employees of the names of team members

Team members may also be utilized when performing inspections, and/or assisting with training.  In this way, the burden of the training will not fall to one manager or supervisor.  Supervisors and office personnel can track documentation and progress, as well as effectiveness through inspections, reduced losses, or other methods.

Lastly, do not forget to include managers and maintenance personnel in the safety process.  Hold them to the same standards as crew members.  Recent statistics show that a maintenance person is nearly 8 times more likely to suffer an injury on the job versus a crew member!

Remember to take safety seriously.  Your crew members will always look to you for guidance so leading by example will reinforce the safety culture at your restaurant.  If safety comes second or third to production, they will notice this and act on it.