Communicating in the workplace is one of the most important things that you can do to improve safety. There are many types of communication that is done in most facilities, and when done properly, it can help keep everyone safe and working efficiently. In some situations, however, enhanced safety communication is necessary in order to make sure everyone is on the same page.
In many cases, improving the communication in a facility is one of the most effective ways to improve the safety of the facility as well. When looking to make improvements in this area, make sure you consider all your options and only implement the most effective strategies you can based on the specific situations in your facility.
Enhance Safety Communication with these 4 Tips
1. Verbal Communication
For most companies, verbal communication will be used more than any other type. Whether this is just people talking to each other or using technology like phones or radios, this is often the fastest and easiest communication method possible.
The fact that it is the most common, however, does not mean that it can’t be improved. Whenever using verbal communication in the workplace, you need to make sure everyone is speaking the same language. That doesn’t just mean having everyone speak English, however. It means using the same terms in the same ways.
For example, shouting out that you are approaching someone from behind can be a way to ask the individual to move off to the side. The individual, however, may not realize that and just turn around to see who is there. This can result in a miscommunication that results in delays or even injuries.
To enhance the verbal safety communication in the facility, make sure everyone is on the same page whenever speaking about safety issues. Using more precise language and taking care to ensure everyone understands what is being said will go a long way toward making the facility a safer place.
2. Visual Communication Enhancements
Another way people communicate is through visual signals. An everyday example of this would be waving your hand at someone to say hello. Another example would be a stop sign that lets drivers know that they have to stop the vehicle. In the workplace, there are often hundreds of different types of visual communication every day.
In order to improve the safety of this type of communication, it is important to make sure everyone knows what each type of communication means. For example, you can print off safety labels, put down safety floor tape, or create pipe labels as much as you want, but they won’t be helpful if people don’t know how to properly read them.
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Taking the time to ensure everyone knows what all the different types of visual communication in the workplace mean can be one of the best ways to keep everyone safe. While it may sound simple, this is a great example of enhanced safety communication that most facilities can improve upon.
3. Tips for Enhancing Safety Communication
Having a good understanding of the different types of safety communication that is used in the facility is important. Once you know how your facility communicates in this area, you can take some steps to actually make improvements to them.
The following are some key tips that can help your facility to operate in a safer and more efficient way:
Training – There is really nothing that is more important for the safety of a facility than training. When looking at enhanced safety communications, you need to make sure everyone is trained on exactly what is being done, and how. When everyone has had the same level of training, the communication will be much more effective.
Standardize – One problem many facilities run into is that they have different standards for communication in each part of the facility. For example, one department may use red floor marking tape to indicate that a fire extinguisher is nearby. Another may use this color to indicate a specific hazard. This can, obviously, cause confusion. Getting everyone to follow one set standard whenever possible is very important.
Industry Regulations – Another way to make sure everyone is on the same page is to follow industry regularities whenever they exist. If you are going to be labeling containers that store dangerous chemicals, for example, you will want to check to see what OSHA or other agencies require the labels to look like. This will help not only standardize within the facility, but also across industries.
Open to Suggestions – Many facilities make the mistake of thinking that the safety manager or others in leadership know best how to use enhanced safety communication techniques. It is often far better, however, to seek input from the employees themselves to see what would work best for them.
4. Always Look for Improvement Opportunities
To wrap this up, it is important to understand that enhanced safety communication is not an end result of a specific change. It is an ongoing process that really will never end. You should always be on the lookout for ways you can improve the safety of your facility, especially when it comes to the type of communication that is used.
Sometimes you may be able to make large improvements, and other times they will be small. The important thing is that you keep on working hard to find those areas where improvement will be possible. In the end, it will result in a much safety workplace for everyone.