Spotlight on Safety

U.S. Water Services Corporation - Spotlight on Safety - Creating a Safety Culture Through Training

 Creating a Safety Culture Through Training

Why have tailgate meetings?

A tailgate meeting is an informal safety meeting usually held at the job site (often around the tailgate of a work truck, hence the name). They are conducted before the workday or shift begins. Their primary purpose is to draw attention to hazards or potential hazards associated with the tasks ahead, processes, equipment, tools, environment, materials, etc., to inform all workers of the risks involved and how best to protect themselves.

Tailgate meetings have many other benefits, including keeping safety on everyone’s mind during the workday. This, in turn, contributes to accident prevention and an overall reduction in job site risks, all factors that go a long way towards having employees make it home safely every day! They are also a great opportunity for supervisors to use their knowledge and experience to teach their employees, in detail, the dangers of a particular hazard, the proper use of tools, equipment, materials, etc. This will also help establish open communications with staff and stress the importance of participation in the safety program. Additionally, findings from safety inspections can be reviewed and corrective actions discussed at these meetings.

These are an excellent forum for workers (especially new ones) to ask questions and start dialogues, not just about safety. It builds camaraderie and trust that everyone is on the same page. For supervisors, it is the perfect chance to practice what we preach. Nothing makes a leader lose credibility faster than having an employee see them doing something that violates the safety precautions covered in a previous tailgate meeting. Always set a good example.

Finally, they are the perfect time to assure everyone has completed the week’s/month’s safety training requirements and have the appropriate PPE for the workday.

They don’t need to be very long (10-15 minutes is plenty of time), but they can prove to be an essential part of the day.


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