One of the requirements of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) is the section on safety communications. The purpose of this section is to design ways to tell people about the particular safe work practices for your workplace. Merely training people to work safely is not enough.The way we communicate about safety will influence whether or not people understand and participate in the safety process. Some of the creative ways that you can communicate the importance of safety to your staff include:
- Introducing your safety program during new hire orientations.
- Including examples of safe behaviors in a company newsletter/company-wide communication.
- Posting safety posters throughout your facility.
- Communicating safety tidbits at start-up/staff meeting.
- OSHA estimates that the indirect costs of an injury are 110% to 450% of the direct costs.
- Research also shows that every dollar invested in workplace safety saves three dollars.
Involving Your Team in Safety CommunicationsEmpowering your team to help develop creative ideas on how to communicate your safety program will also go a long way in motivating continued commitment. Employee safety communication is not just communicating rules and policies, it is also about creating a culture of safety to prevent accidents and ill health. Find ways to involve employees in safety programs by:
- Calling for safety committee volunteers as first aid or health and safety representatives.
- Asking employees to submit safety suggestions and ideas for safety campaigns.
- Crafting messages that help change employee beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors by showing them it is worth the extra effort to work safely.
Help create an atmosphere that fosters safety as second nature—every employee that works safely as a result of effective safety communication makes a difference.