IF THERE IS DANGER THAT YOU SEE, COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
Why is effective communication important?
Effective communication is necessary during shift or job turnover; between Process and a Mechanical crew; and between an employee and a supervisor. It’s important for a number of reasons.
- It reduces errors in our work – errors can lead to injuries depending on the circumstances;
- It enables us to be compliant with regulatory requirements;
- It helps newer employees better appreciate hazards and requirements.
Here are some tips for making your safety communications more effective.
Make it personal. Written procedures and documentation are important to ensure consistency. However, including verbal dialog for critical work will more strongly conveys the importance of the message. Also, a good two-way discussion helps the person delivering the message know that the message was correctly received.
Get to the point. Too many details create a barrier to the message. Too few details may downplay its importance. A good balance is to keep the message on point, but have more information available for anyone who needs it or requests it.
Keep it positive. Messages that emphasize the benefits while noting all outcomes are better received than those that dwell on negative consequences. The goal is to exchange information to improve workplace safety and to prevent incidents.
Say it more than once. Making it personal (above) creates a second opportunity to convey the message – which is another reason to add verbal communication when conveying important safety information. The more times, and the more different ways that information is passed on, the more likely it will be effectively received. If the message is critical, over-communicate it. Effective communication is important. When you need to convey safety information, keep these tips in mind to improve the effectiveness of your message, whether it’s with a peer, an employee with another company, or someone in a supervisory role.