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Can Over-Communication Improve Workplace Safety?

Posted on 09/22 by Erin Helms

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Communication is vital to achieving a safe working environment for your organization. Although many companies have efforts to reduce the number of work-related accidents, workers are still getting injured due to occupational hazards and illnesses within the workplace. Workplaces with open communication and frequent interactions between employees and supervisors are essential to organizational safety. Over-communicating workplace safety helps to distinguish companies with low accident rates from those with high accident rates. When organizations have open communication, it demonstrates that they are willing to accept feedback and questions from anyone and respond to any safety concerns from employees. Here are some ways your organization can improve the safety communication of your workplace.

Communication Plan

A clear communication plan is a place to start. It gives you strategic goals rather than random information. The plan should identify potential communication safety topics and how and when to communicate them.

Get the Information to the Right Audience

When we receive too much information, we tend to tune out or ignore future messages from the sender. Apathy happens when we constantly receive irrelevant information. When you have specific health and safety information for different groups of workers, target only those employees who benefit from the knowledge.

Schedule Shift Overlaps

Does your organization have shifts across the day? Ensure there is a mechanism to share information between the different work teams about safety concerns, hazards, and accidents. Consider an overlap of 15 to 30 minutes to allow sharing of vital information.

Make Safety Part of Meeting Agendas

If you meet with employees weekly or monthly, make safety a standing topic for the meeting agenda. Keeping it a regular topic helps you remind employees of various health and well-being resources available.

Ensure Safety Signage Is Visible

If there are potential hazards and risks or you need to remind employees how to use equipment safely, you must place signage where it is visible. It is the last line of defense to remind people before a potential accident happens.

Use a Variety of Channels and Tools

Use a variety of channels for workplace safety communication. It will help to ensure that your message reaches employees. Remember that people have different communication preferences regarding when, where, and how they receive safety information. Never rely on a one-size-fits-all approach.

Listen to Your Employees

Communication goes both ways, so ensure there are mechanisms to capture employees' feedback. It might include survey polls, face-to-face consultations, workshops, focus groups, and question and answer sessions. Employees are on the front line and have views on how well safety is going in the workplace.

Use Realism in Communication

It is not uncommon for safety communications to be high-level and abstract and not cut through to employees. Share real safety communication examples about what happens when things go wrong. Case studies and incident reports help illustrate. LaborMAX provides dependable, well-screened employees who show up on time and are eager to work for you. LaborMAX is a nationwide staffing agency that can quickly deploy employees for your unique staffing needs.

Tagged: #WorkplaceSafety #SafetyTips #Overcommunication

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