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Five ways to improve work safety communication

by , 20 July 2015
Face it: Everything we do is communication. So it's no wonder that poor communication causes 70% of workplace mistakes. That's a research-backed fact...

When it comes to workplace safety, communication is especially important. Workers need to understand your business's safety initiative, and how it'll affect them. This is important for improving workplace safety.

During your next toolbox talk, safety initiative launch or other safety meeting, take what I'm about to share with you into consideration. Following these tips will help improve workplace safety communication when you talk about a new or existing safety initiative.

Here they are...

Five ways to help your employees better understand your safety initiative

#1: Start by explaining the current safety status
You can show this in a visual. A picture tells a thousand words! 
#2: Explain the benefits of your safety initiative
Talk about the thinking behind your initiative. Explain to the workers how it'll affect them, their family and the company. For example: Let the workers know how much you expect a new training programme to contribution to a reduction in injuries.
#3: Get workers involved in your initiative
Get feedback from your workers regarding your safety initiative. Ask what they think. Ask them for ideas to improve the initiative. Improving your workplace safety strategy with help from your workers will make them feel valued and involved.
Attention! Health and Safety specialists face fines imposed by the DoL!
Recently, the Department of Labour (DoL) conducted over 190,000 impromptu health and safety inspections. It even shut down a company for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Employers have been warned that there will be many more inspections.
Don't let them show up at your door unannounced.
#4: Repeat your message via different communication methods
Use posters, video content, newsletters and so on. Put together a schedule of communication events that constantly drip-feeds your safety initiative and message.
#5: Use positive language
Avoid words like 'don't' and 'can't'. Focus on the behaviour you want, rather than talking about what you don't want.
In addition to the above, make sure you take follow-up action. Keep communicating with workers and checking on their progress. Always remember the old adage 'actions speak louder than words'!

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