An effective and compelling safety culture speech can convince your employees to commit to making safety a priority at your company.
The more comfortable we get in a job, the easier it is to start to let complacency slip into your routine. Taking safety for granted is a common mistake – and, if we’re being honest, an understandable one. It’s quicker to take a shortcut, and that can be tempting.
Although OSHA doesn’t require “safety speeches,” it’s a great way to provide workers updates on company safety awareness efforts, program changes, and the overall importance of injury prevention. These motivational safety speeches not only help to keep you compliant, but serve as an important reminder about the importance of employees staying safe on the job and to reinforce the company’s overall commitment to safety.
Ideally, these safety speeches should come directly from upper level management, including owners, presidents, CEO, etc. The higher the position, the more effective it is.
It’s also important that these safety talks be delivered on a consistent basis. Doing so once, or even a few times per year, isn’t very effective in helping to build a culture of safety for the company.
And never forget that speeches are no substitute for understanding OSHA compliance, building and managing safety programs, and consistently developing and delivering customized health and safety training to your employees.
Also never forget the importance of consistently leading by example when it comes to safety. That means company leadership always wearing PPE in the production area, holding employees accountable when they fail to follow safety protocols (but do so with an educational approach), and better yet, creating and signing a formal company safety policy. After all, what good are safety speeches delivered by leadership who don’t “walk the walk?”
How do you start a safety speech? What is a good safety message?
We understand that this task can seem daunting, so to save you some time, we’ve provided you with a quick outline of helpful topic ideas, writing reminders, and more.
Safety Speech Outline
Safety speech topics will vary slightly depending on your audience and industry. Regardless of what those specifics are, it’s best to start off by giving a simple outline of what you plan to say and why your information is important. Always remember to remind your staff that safety and the well being of your employees is the #1 company priority.
In the body of your speech, take the time to reinforce your commitment to safety from a leadership perspective. If corporate takes the initiative seriously, so will middle managers, followed by everyone down to hourly workers turning the wrenches.
Similarly, remember that people can really benefit from a pat on the back every now and then. As much as this talk is designed to elevate your company’s safety culture, in some ways, it also needs to serve as a safety recognition speech. Give appreciation for what your employees are already doing well. If you have standout employees that go out of their way to make safety a priority, give them a shoutout!
Starting off on a positive note before diving into worst-case scenarios can make your audience more receptive to the rest of your message.
Use analogies and real-life horror stories to paint a picture for your employees of just why safety is a priority, and remind them of the resources your company has in terms of reporting and dealing with safety concerns.
Close strong by specifically identifying the changes you’d like to see. Give your staff insight into how you will measure any new safety initiatives, and what you’re expecting out of each individual.
Simply starting a dialogue with your employees can help to identify safety hazards in your workplace, promote safe procedures and increase awareness. After you begin the conversation, keep after it – the more you can remind people of your company’s safety priorities, the better.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, and if you can turn company safety into a benefit for not only the corporation, but the community, your job is halfway done for you.
However, if you feel like you need a guide, download this safety speech PDF on OSHA’s website.
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