A ‘general meeting’ is a gathering together of shareholders in a company, which usually also includes the Board of Directors, Company Secretary and other [senior] staff.
Such meetings bring with them the need to ensure attendees are aware of matters which might have an impact on the health and/or safety of those present. In particular, because of the ramifications of the Work Health & Safety Act, it is incumbent on the Chairman to fully inform attendees of matters relevant to the orderly running of the meeting and the general well-being of attendees – which can be referred to as ‘housekeeping’.
To this end the Chairman, when addressing shareholders and other attendees, should in the early part of the meeting say something along the following lines:
“Before we begin the meeting proceedings I would like to point out the emergency exits which are located in the rear centre of the room and in the foyer at either site of the entrance door. Should a need arise to evacuate the building, please use these in an orderly fashion and gather at the muster points outside in the street.
I also mention there are ladies and gents restrooms just off the foyer.
Lastly, at the conclusion of the meeting we will be serving afternoon tea in the foyer if you would care to stay and chat with the Board and senior executives.”
*Originally written by Company Secretary, an Australian virtual company secretary service.