Proper communication is crucial for a job to run safely and efficiently. When communication is insufficient or missing totally there can be many negative consequences for employees and the company as a whole. Recognizing the communication tools for work tasks and the work environment is important to ensure the proper messages are being received. When someone says communication, the first thing you may think about is speaking words to another person or sending an email. These are just two ways to communicate, but there are many more ways found at work. Some other examples of communication include posters, labels, warnings, bulletins, pictograms, WSHAs, SOPs, body language, etc. Depending on any number of factors, each of these tools of communication can be very critical to working safely.
Communication and Safety
Proper communication and safety go hand in hand. If there is no communication for a given work task then safety is also missing. Some common tools for communicating a safety message:
Training is a way to communicate how to do a task and how to do it safely and is one of the first methods of communication used when preparing for a work task.
JSAs are important tools to communicate the steps of a job task, the associated hazards of each step, and mitigation actions to be able to work safely.
Safety meetings or toolbox talks discussing work tasks and the associated hazards of the work are very important for work crews. Paying attention to the safety meeting information can protect you during your work task that day or sometime in the future.
Labels are found on almost every piece of equipment, tools, and chemicals in the workplace. Manufacturers put these labels on for a reason. They often relay some of the most important information regarding the hazards and safeguards of that product.
There are many other ways that safety is communicated in the workplace. Verbal communication is also very important. When you see a situation where someone could be hurt or there could be property loss you should always speak up. Have a conversation with the individuals involved in the task to voice your concerns. Involve the right personnel to correct a situation before an injury occurs.
Recognize all the different tools used in the workplace to communicate a safety message. Appreciate the time and resources dedicated to develop and use these tools every day. Embrace the message they are conveying to keep you working safe and efficient. When communication is not used to its fullest potential there can be an increased chance for injury. Never be afraid to speak up when it comes to safety on the job.