Minutes are the notes taken during a meeting to remind everyone about what was discussed, and decisions met during the meeting.
As a safety and health professional, you’ll have a series of meetings in the workplace. For example, General health and safety meetings; are usually organized once every month or once every two months depending on the organization.
And the site safety committee meeting for section heads, workers’ representatives and safety officers where they meet to discuss issues on health and safety in the workplace.
However, Safety and health meeting minutes offer an invaluable record of every Safety meeting that occurred in the workplace.
Most times, memories can fizzle out but minutes offer a backup for what was said and agreed in the meeting. And it equally helps all participants to remember their assignment to do after the meeting.
It also helps to keep the absent members abreast of the deliberations of the meeting and helps keep them in the know about what happened in the meeting.
When writing the minutes, you don’t have to take in all that was discussed in the safety and health meeting, instead, important points have to be captured.
So your listening skills, your ability to be prepared on time for the meeting and being organized will serve you well in getting every important information during the meeting.
That being said, in this article, you’ll learn tips on how to take safety and health meeting minutes and this will be on what you do before the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting.
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BEFORE THE MEETING
Check the meeting agenda and familiarize yourself with it.
Every meeting should have an agenda. So health and safety meetings should also be in that picture as well. The agenda is usually put forth with the help of the safety officer and the most senior management personnel on-site.
So a safety officer is a better way to know what the agenda is before the start of the meeting.
However, if the person to write the meeting minute is not the safety officer. An effort has to be made for the agenda to be present for the person before the meeting.
This will guide the person when writing the minute during the actual meeting.
The agenda is usually the goal of every meeting. Knowing the agenda will give you the most important points you should be taking note of during the meeting.
Print out a copy of the previous safety and health meeting minutes and make it handy for yourself.
Although there could be a time for previous minutes to be read during the meeting. In case such an opportunity was not made available in the meeting, there is a need for you to print the previous minute to help refer to prior resolutions of the meeting.
Some meetings will demand they look into the previous safety and health meeting minutes and see other unfinished businesses which need urgent attention. And minutes being handy will make it easy to mark those needs immediately.
Let your sitting position be close to the chairperson.
It’s always better for anyone taking the minutes of the meeting to always sit close to the chairperson in the meeting.
This helps to bring proper coordination during the meeting as you’ll have to rely on the chairman for clarifications when things are not clear to you during the meeting.
DURING THE MEETING.
Ensure you put on paper the date, time and place of the meeting in your writing material.
This is going to be very important for you to do. Having a date on the paper will help you to remember the day you did the meeting. You can put the location and place for the meeting although some organizations have a training hall for meetings.
Ensure you note the attendance during the meetings with the attendance form. Equally, take notes of those that are to be present but they’re absent.
You can as well ensure that you allow everyone to introduce themselves if need be, more especially if it is a joint meeting involving people from a different company.
Make sure you make a clear note.
While making your notes, you’ve to make them very clear and eligible so that it will not be difficult for you when rewriting them.
Also, ensure that you write your points according to the agendas and don’t mess it up with different agendas to make it to be more coherent when rewriting it.
Make your writing in a way that you’ve to create some spacing in between different agendas so that you can come back to input whatever you missed if need be.
And also write in a way that anyone who is not present in the meeting can be able to read the minutes and understand all that transpired in the meeting.
Don’t note down everything verbatim.
You’ve to summarise debates over issues in the meeting and note the action points and the people responsible for the actions.
Stick with the facts and don’t concentrate or conclude on personal opinions. Concentrate on the agreed decisions from the people present in the meeting.
When a decision is made and if it’s not clear to you, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification to ensure to write down the main point.
AFTER THE MEETING.
Never hesitate to type your minutes immediately because if you delay it, you would miss the vital information which ordinarily, you shouldn’t have missed.
This will make the minute to be less accurate. Ensure you send out the minute to the participants for them to review. And make their corrections before you send it to the chairperson for final approval and signature.
Sometimes, using a voice recorder to record a minute can be a good option for you but you’ll still have to put it into writing to form a minute document. In this way, it’ll help you not to skip any point during the meeting discussion.
Meanwhile, some organizations have a template for writing safety and health meeting minutes while some don’t have any template. But for those that have it, all you need to do is to type in your minutes into the template and your safety and health meeting minutes would be ready for you.
Crafting a good safety and health meeting minute is very important for your workplace safety success.
It helps to encourage good participation from workers making them remember the action points for them to follow. And equally encourage a healthy workplace and also to keep them abreast of what is happening in the workplace.
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