Warehouse safety meeting topics primarily focus on safety issues. That makes sense. But there’s more to safety than learning about rules, PPE, hazards, and procedures.
A core aspect of staying safe is staying healthy. Adding health topics to your warehouse safety meeting agenda is important. Here’s why.
Focusing on Health Is Focusing on Safety
Healthy workers are more present, alert, focused, and agile—mentally and physically. Healthy workers are stronger and more resilient. All these factors play into safety.
Many accidents are caused by workers being distracted, complacent, or just not paying attention. Staying aware of one’s surroundings and being able to assess potential hazards goes a long way toward a worker staying safe, and keeping their coworkers safe.
Healthy workers with strong muscles and connective tissues are less prone to issues like all-too-common overuse injuries. And with a stronger immune system, they’re less prone to illnesses.
And while healthy workers can get hurt just like anyone else, they will heal faster and better than unhealthy colleagues. To top it all off, a recent study found that healthy workers are more productive, too.
Warehouse Toolbox Meeting Topics About Health
OK, so you’re on board to add a focus on health to some of your safety meetings. But that’s a huge topic. How do you decide what to cover? Here are four broad categories to consider:
You might think of these as the major pillars of well-being. Nutrition is what we’re made of: you are what you eat. Movement includes exercise, stretching—basically anything that isn’t sedentary. Sustained movement that makes you breathe hard and sweat is good for your heart and circulatory system. Movement that involves lifting and moving heavy objects improves strength and power. Movement is also beneficial to your mental well-being and helps boost energy levels.
Recuperation points to all the behaviors that help the body recover and relax, or lower stress. The most obvious topic here is sleep, which is vital to good health. But so are activities that are just for enjoyment and rejuvenation, like hiking, playing with your kids, reading, or playing games with buddies.
Finally, ‘habits’ is a catchall category that emphasizes the importance of consistency, or making good choices regularly. Health doesn’t come or go in a day or even a week. It’s the result of many good choices made over time.
To get more concrete, try out these warehouse safety meeting topics—one from each of our major categories.
A Nutrition Health Topic: A Day of Unpackaged Food
Introduce the idea of eating whole, unprocessed foods. One very simple way to put this into practice is to ask workers to, for one day, or even just one meal eat only foods that are unaltered with chemicals and preservatives. This raises awareness and gets workers thinking about healthier alternatives to packaged or fast food.
A Movement Health Topic: Teach Five Daily Stretches or Exercises
This is a ‘learn by doing’ topic: you’ll demonstrate five movements, and your staff will perform them back to you. Choose stretches and exercises workers can do on the job in three minutes or less, and that move counter to the movements they make while they’re working.
Have workers set a timer to go off every 30 to 45 minutes, and have them perform these movements when the timer rings. Ask them to report back whether or not these exercises improved how they felt, their mood, or their energy level.
A Recuperation Health Topic: Sleep
One of the most important safety meeting topics for warehouse workers around health is sleep. The first thing to cover could be as simple as making workers aware of why sleep is so critical to well-being.
This short (and adorable) video covers benefits of sleep and gives tips on how to get good sleep:
A Habits Health Topic: What’s Your Tendency?
Changing habits is a challenge for most people. It’s especially tough if you’re working against your natural tendencies.
Happiness and habit expert Gretchen Rubin came up with a framework to address this issue. She groups people into four tendencies (which we covered in greater detail in a previous post), and by knowing what yours is, you’ll have an easier time shaping your approach to changing your chosen habit.
Present this concept to workers. Provide them with the Four Tendencies quiz so that they learn what their tendency is, and have one more tool to use to help them create healthier habits.
Addressing Health Spices Things Up
Focusing on health during toolbox talks or safety moments will benefit your workers by helping to keep them safer (and healthier), and it’s also a way to keep things interesting. Varying your warehouse safety meeting topics keeps workers engaged, and engaged workers are safe workers.