As of 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported 2.8 million cases of nonfatal injuries and 5,486 fatal cases in the private sector. Nonfatal cases translated into $116 billion of incident compensations as the average injury cost ~$41,500 (National Safety Council). 

These numbers highlight the importance of safety committees on corporate and nonprofit boards. This article explores the best practices for an effective safety committee meeting and provides comprehensive agenda and meeting minutes templates.

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The purpose of the safety committee meeting

While safety committees are not mandatory in all states, establishing one is a sound business practice recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Also, OSHA departments in some states have specific safety committee meeting requirements, including composition and meeting frequency. 

Thus, Oregon’s OSHA requires general industry and construction employers with more than ten workers to have safety committees with at least two members that meet quarterly or monthly. You can contact your state’s authorities to receive detailed safety committee guidelines.

A safety committee is a committee that ensures the organization employs sufficient workplace safety. Its composition is established by the nominating committee.

The safety committee has the following roles:

  • Provide safety oversight. It monitors and evaluates safety standards and activities across the organization and the board of directors. This subdivision collaborates on safety initiatives, like improved personal protective equipment, with the fundraising committee on nonprofit boards.
  • Promote safety culture. It supervises safety awareness campaigns, training programs, and initiatives to promote a safety-first workplace culture.
  • Review safety performance. It reviews safety reports and delves into various health and safety metrics, such as workplace injuries, near misses, incident resolution time, safety training, etc. Safety committee insights and reports are helpful for decisions on the remuneration committee when workplace benefits are considered.
  • Ensure safety compliance. It evaluates the organization’s safety policies against compliance standards and provides compliance improvement suggestions.

The purposes of safety committee meetings vary based on the company’s needs, requirements, and circumstances. It focuses on preventing hazards and accidents, safety concerns and inspections. The purpose of each meeting is established in its agenda.

How standardized meetings promote effective decision-making

Harvard Business Review shows that over 70% of meetings are unproductive, while 64% come at the “expense of deep thinking.” That is primarily due to unproductive behavior, such as off-topic discussions, detachment and inactivity, and lack of organization. Fortunately, companies can make meetings more effective with standardization activities:

  • Establishing a clear safety committee meeting agenda
  • Recording meeting minutes for greater accountability
  • Following Robert’s Rules of Order guidelines

The best safety committee meeting format

Robert’s Rules of Order suggests creating a strict meeting agenda to boost meeting efficiency, transparency, and accountability. The agenda consists of meeting items and safety committee meeting members as speakers for each topic. The items are the following according to Robert’s Rules.

Meeting agenda itemExplanation
Call to orderIt’s the official opening of the meeting.
Roll callIt’s meeting attendance and quorum check.
Approval of meeting minutesIt’s the time of reading and approving previous meeting minutes.
ReportsBoard directors review reports from the CEO, CFO, and other executives. Reports must supplement the meeting topic.
Unfinished businessSafety committee members discuss unfinished matters from the previous meeting and vote for related decisions.
New businessAttendees discuss topics of the current meeting and vote for related decisions.
AnnouncementsThe chair announces important updates for subsequent meetings and assigns the date for the next meeting according to the schedule.
AdjournmentIt’s the official closure of the meeting.

Below, you can see the sample safety committee meeting agenda template of a fictional steel manufacturer — Stellar Steel. The topic of the meeting is to increase incident reporting and improve security signaling across cold-rolled steel manufacturing facilities.

TimeAgenda itemPresenter
9:00 – 9:10Call to orderBoard Chair
Roll CallBoard Secretary
Approval of meeting minutesBoard Secretary
9:10 –9:20Q2 accident reportCEO
9:20 – 9:30Q2 near miss reportCEO
Unfinished business
9:35 – 9:50Proposals for near-miss reporting softwareSafety Committee Chair
New business
9:55 – 10:20Increasing safety signage across facilities. Scope and timelines.Safety Committee Chair
10:20 – 10:50Installing additional monitoring systems across facilities. Quantity, locations, and software choices.CTO
10:50 – 10:55Reminder about quarterly emergency drills.Board Chair
10:55AdjournmentBoard Chair

How to create a safety committee agenda: 6 steps

Follow these steps to build a sound safety committee meeting template:

  1. Clarify meeting objectives. Discuss safety committee meeting ideas. It’s advisable to review company reports and seek input from the executive committee, nomination committee, and other subdivisions. It will help you calibrate the priorities on the safety committee.
  2. Review past meeting minutes. Past meeting minutes provide additional insights into the agenda structure for the planned meeting. For instance, you can source unfinished business items from the past minutes.
  3. Outline agenda items. It’s advisable to include a manageable number of action items. Too many items produce decision fatigue and leave unfinished business for the next meeting. Up to 13 small items and up to six complex items may be optimal for a single meeting. Set reasonable time frames for each agenda item, leaving space for presentations, discussions, and votes.
  4. Assign presenters. Assign speakers with experience relevant to action items on the agenda. If technology aspects are under discussion, a chief technology officer (CTO) or chief information officer (CIO) should attend the meeting.
  5. Coordinate the agenda. Seek feedback from the board chair, meeting attendees, and other board committees. It clarifies issues, predicts attendance, and aligns the meeting with the organization’s needs.
  6. Distribute the agenda. Ensure safety committee members have sufficient time to review meeting notes and prepare for topic discussions. Each safety committee member should receive the agenda a week or two before the event.

Top 3 agenda planning challenges + solutions

A PwC executive survey found that 26% of executives see board directors as “consistently unprepared for meetings.” At the same time, only 21% believe board members spend sufficient time doing their job. Low preparedness rates may be due to the following agenda planning challenges.

Agenda planning challengeSolution
❗ Board members have little time to review agendas before meetings.✅ Use a shared workspace with a notification system. System notifications, calendars, and activity alerts help board members keep track of agendas and meetings.
❗ There is too much information on the agenda.✅ Incorporate consent agenda — combine and approve routine, non-controversial items in one motion.
✅ Prioritize urgent items and shift non-urgent ones to later meetings. Put only critical items on the agenda.
✅ Present critical information on safety committee meeting topics in reports’ summaries.
❗ There is little understanding of what to do after the meeting.✅ Use automated systems to record meeting notes, meeting minutes, including recorders and digital meeting minutes builders.
✅ Coordinate post-meeting work with tasks and distributable meeting minutes. It aligns post-meeting workflows and keeps board members on the same page.

4 dos and don’ts of a safety committee meeting minutes template

Meeting minutes provide accountability and transparency to safety committees. Based on our experience, safety committee meeting minutes yield the best results when the board secretary balances informativeness and efficiency.

Meeting minutes’ dos:

  1. Capture key meeting details. Record attendance, location, date, quorum requirements, and quorum presence.
  2. Summarize decisions. Record main decisions, tasks, and deadlines. 
  3. Clarify follow-up actions. Document tasks and responsibilities of attendees between meetings.
  4. Distribute meeting minutes in time. Circulate meeting minutes and agenda in 24 hours or earlier. 

❌ Meeting minutes’ don’ts:

  1. Transcribe the meeting. Don’t make meeting minutes excessively long.
  2. Include personal opinions. Include votes and decisions only.
  3. Record off-topic conversations. They don’t contribute to meeting objectives.
  4. Include inaccurate info. Check timestamps, numbers, dates, and considerations for correctness.

Check more safety committee meeting examples:

You can also download our safety committee meeting minutes sample. It’s connected to the agenda template so that you can see how to record meeting minutes.

Elevate your reporting with our safety committee meeting agenda

Streamline your reporting process with our proven template


How to run a safety committee meeting effectively?

The following practices help safety committees maximize results during meetings:

  1. Establish engagement rules. Implement rules for phone use, phone calls, and video screen recording in the charter for a committee. Some organizations request participants to enable flight mode during meetings to reduce distractions.
  2. Rotate presenters. Periodically swap “listeners” and “speakers.” It keeps everyone involved in the process. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, listening to a new person refreshes board directors. It also helps board members refine interpersonal skills and manage conflicts of interest.
  3. Test meeting technology beforehand. Troubleshooting technical challenges during the meeting is not advisable. Test videoconferencing technology, like Zoom, before the meeting.
  4. Make your safety committee meeting agenda and minutes inseparable. Attach meeting minutes while distributing agendas or use dedicated software where meeting minutes and agendas appear in a single layout.
  5. Implement post-meeting assessments. You can refine the process using regular performance assessments and corrective actions with the board development committee. Introduce post-meeting surveys exploring engagement, decision-making, and overall satisfaction. 

How to conduct a safety committee meeting using technology?

Deloitte’s research concluded that Fortune 500 companies could unlock $1.25 trillion in combined market capitalization if they implemented core digital transformative strategies.

The good news is that your safety committee can revolutionize its workflows with board management software. It boosts the planning, productivity, and security of safety committee meetings with the following features:

  • Convenient agenda planning. Board portals enable digital agendas with built-in meeting minutes. Interactive digital agenda and meeting minute templates support automatic timestamps, task cards, voting systems, and unlimited file attachments.
  • Communication security. Logins, files, and online connections get encrypted to the highest standard inside board portals. Granular permissions and watermarks protect board packs and meeting minutes from unauthorized access and human error.
  • Seamless collaboration. Board software allows users to manage files, create tasks, track activity, communicate, plan meetings, and vote in one ecosystem. It reduces time-consuming administrative tasks such as manual attendance checks, paper minutes, and back-and-forth emails.
Check the best board portals to skyrocket your safety committee meetings.

Key takeaways

  1. Safety committee meetings typically start with reviews of past meeting minutes and unfinished business matters from previous events. 
  2. Call to order, roll call, approval of minutes, reports, unfinished business, new business, announcements, and adjournment are elements of the meeting structure.
  3. To create a meeting agenda, one should outline meeting objectives, review past meeting minutes, outline agenda items, and assign presenters.
  4. Meeting minutes are inseparable from the meeting agenda. Minutes should capture key decisions, record quorum, and contain follow-up action items.
  5. Successful safety committees use board software with digital agendas and meeting minute templates for maximum productivity and security.

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How often should a safety committee meet?

A safety committee should meet quarterly or monthly for the best results. Quarterly meetings are frequent enough to supervise the company while offering enough time for tracking a real difference in performance.

What is an agenda for safety meeting?

✅ An agenda for a safety meeting should include a call to order, roll call, reports, unfinished business, new business, announcements, and adjournment. A board secretary should circulate a meeting agenda at least a week before the meeting.

How do you run an effective safety committee meeting?

✅ To run effective meetings, establish phone and video screen usage conditions, rotate speakers, and conduct post-meeting surveys.

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Casey Johnson Marketing strategist
Casey Johnson is a seasoned marketing strategist specializing in board portals. With over a decade of experience, she spearheads comprehensive marketing campaigns to enhance brand visibility and drive growth. Casey orchestrates content plans, conducts market research, and collaborates with content creators to ensure impactful marketing strategies.
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