The Pre-Meeting Safety Briefing

No one ever expects an emergency, which is why a simple safety briefing can play a critical role in being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. The purpose of a safety briefing prior to the beginning of a meeting is to provide all attendees with the knowledge, or reminder, of how to respond in case of emergency or disaster. Attendees are identified who may have certain skills that could be utilized (CPR/First Aid Training). Other attendees may provide communication for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or assistance to people with special needs in the case of a building evacuation. The goal is a safe and organized response to the emergency; not chaos and confusion.

The Topics


Know your physical location and identify emergency exits and an outside rally area in case of building evacuation. “In the event of an emergency, please exit out _______ and _______ doors. Once outside, proceed to _______ where we will meet (and do roll call).”


Identify the location in the room of all phones that can be used for emergency calls and designate a person to make the call. The address of the building and the room number, if applicable, should be near the phone or given to the person designated to make the call.

“In addition to cell phones, there are phones located _______. Dial ___ for an outside line and then 911 in case of an emergency.”


Designate an attendee to go outside and flag EMS personnel to the location. The flagger should serve as the initial point of contact and have a general understanding of the situation.


Identify the location of the nearest fire extinguisher to be used in case of a small fire and, if possible, a person trained in its use. “In case of fire, the closest fire extinguisher is located _______.”


Instruct meeting attendees of the proper response in case of an earthquake.      “In case of an earthquake, duck under a table (or other stable object), clasp your hands and use them to cover and protect the back of your neck and hold.”

CPR, First Aid, and AED

Identify people in the room who are CPR and/or First Aid qualified. Identify the location of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), if available.  “IF you are CPR or First Aid qualified and willing to help in an emergency, please identify yourself. The AED is located _______.”

In conclusion, the safety briefing can help provide a quicker, and more controlled, response from attendees and foster better preparation in the event of an emergency. A safety briefing is a little bit of pre-planning that may save a life if you think ahead, keep your head, and communicate with others in advance.

Always make it a Safe Day.


This article was provided by Tacoma Rail Safety Technician, Max Chabo.