You want to keep your workers and your company safe. So, where should you begin? It may start with better communication. Here’s why communication and safety go hand in hand.
Improve Safety with…
Clearly Communicated Expectations
What ARE the safety rules at your organization? If your workers don’t know, they won’t be able to follow them. Therefore, your company must clearly communicate (or better yet overcommunicate) safety expectations. This begins with a standardized training program for new hires as well as regularly scheduled refresher courses for all employees. In addition, a complete listing of safety protocols needs to be available in written format. This manual should be easy for employees to find and reference. Bulletin boards, emails and verbal reminders also can be used to keep regulations top of mind.
Well-Defined Reporting Procedures
Let’s say one of your employees notices a safety issue. He can’t fix it and he’s not sure what to do. He looks for his supervisor, but his supervisor is in a meeting. He decides to return to work, and then completely forgets about the problem for several hours. Can you see how a lack of well-defined reporting procedures could easily led to a preventable accident? If your workers notice something, make sure they know exactly what to do. This should include a safety issue checklist, a reporting chain of command plus easy-to-find forms. You could even further promote participation by training your employees how to go to their boss with safety concerns.
Safety communication isn’t meant to be a one-way street. Managers need to tell employees what’s expected, and employees need to alert managers to issues and potential issues. Furthermore, since accidents don’t happen on a pre-established schedule, safety conversations shouldn’t either. Fluid communication is the goal. For example, an employee may suggest a safer production method, while a manager retrains an employee who is doing something wrong. This dynamic and ongoing interaction is one of the best strategies to improve both safety and productivity.
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