At WTMC we’re sticklers for safety. On top of the human cost of accidents and injuries, the profits lost from small safety mistakes can be huge. So how do you ensure the safety of your people and your project? Are safety meetings accomplishing anything if no one cares to listen? How do you get people to take safety seriously?

We’ve had a long time to answer these questions. Over the years, we’ve adapted our safety training and fine-tuned our message in a way that our people actually want to hear it. They’ve become sticklers for safety. So how did we do it? Simply put, we recognized human nature and designed our safety meetings to speak to the needs of our people. We’ve couched safety in terms of what’s in it for, and naturally interesting to, our people. Here are seven ideas for safety meeting topics and angles we’d like to share:

Higher Pay

In 2010 employers paid nearly $1 Billion per week for direct workers compensation costs for disabling workplace injuries and illnesses. What if that billion dollars a week were instead applied as profit to the bottom line? How much higher could employee wages and bonuses climb if we eliminate that kind of waste?

Job Security

When safety becomes an issue, employees can lose jobs, contractors can lose contracts, and companies can be shut down by regulators. Our livelihoods depend on meeting safety standards.

Job Satisfaction

When accidents happen, more rules are put in place and the work environment becomes more stringent. Closer supervision becomes necessary, more controls are implemented, and job satisfaction is adversely affected.

Quality of Life

Accidents can be inversely proportional to how much we enjoy family, special occasions, and vacations for the rest of our lives. Who wants to take an adventurous drive across the country if they are suffering from chronic back pain? How do you tie a tie or button a shirt without a thumb? How do you enjoy a sunset with a loss of vision or enjoy a fireside chat with a loss of hearing?

Professionalism

Safety is a mark of a true craftsman. Those who are truly skilled know more than just how to do the job—they know how to do the job safely. Amateurs take short cuts, ignore warnings, and fail to calculate risk.

Achievement

We love scoring points, especially in a competition. Set a challenging goal by which success is measured. Compete with other groups. Celebrate the statistics and applaud the champs who are making it happen.

Loyalty

We are our brother’s keeper. We have each other’s backs. We don’t let each other get hurt. When one person gets hurt, we all fail because we are all responsible for making sure everybody goes home safe every day.