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Use this three step approach to plan your health and safety communication system

by , 20 August 2013
Health and safety in your workplace is crucial. How you communicate the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety programme is equally important. Here's an effective three step approach you can use to plan your health and safety communication system.

You must introduce a health and safety communication system in your workplace to:

  • Create a work environment in which you and your employees have the necessary knowledge, skills and motivation to achieve the objectives of the Occupational Health and Safety programme. Both the communication system and the health and safety programme help prevent loss of life and injuries in the workplace;
  • Improve the quality of your workplace;
  • Reduce down-time, which increases productivity; and
  • Reduce absenteeism. 'It's been shown that if you involve staff more, they're less likely to stay away and rehabilitation time after an injury is shorter,' says the Health&Safety Advisor.

A good communication system will show your employees that you care about their wellbeing. At the same time, as management, you'll realise that with the correct motivation and knowledge, your workers also contribute significantly to your company's aims and objectives.

But before you implement a health and safety communication system, you must plan exactly what you're going to do and what you want to achieve. If your attempts to communicate fail, it'll be difficult to implement a new system later as you'll have lost credibility with your employees.

Here are three steps you can use to plan an effective health and safety communication system

Step #1: Appoint someone with the necessary knowledge and experience to plan and implement your communication system.

In a small company, this could be your managing director or production manager. In a larger business, this person could be the health and safety manager, or a new employee especially employed for this task.

Step #2: Decide why you need the communication system.

For example, you could be doing it to improve communications and understanding to prevent accidents and incidents or you could be doing it to only satisfy legal requirements. Whatever your reasons are, it's important you clearly define them so you can achieve your objections.

Step #3: Decide what information you'll communicate to all your staff. This starts from the top and moves down.

'Management must draft a policy and mission statement. This document will change as the system develops and you receive input from your workforce,' says the Health&Safety Advisor.

Use these steps to help ensure you plan an effective health and safety communication system.

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