Mass Communication of Safety Events
by Paula Kennedy
When an unsafe event occurs at a jobsite, it oftentimes can be localized to a specific work area or work group. As such, it is possible that only those involved in the event will be aware of its occurrence, and that communication about the event could be restricted to only those directly affected, while the rest of the jobsite is left out of the loop. This is an erroneous way of approaching the situation and can prove detrimental to those workers uninvolved in the event, as well as the project as a whole.
Communicating unsafe events throughout a jobsite serves the purpose of raising awareness and putting others on alert so as to avoid repeat incidents. Some may feel that information that does not pertain directly to them is unnecessary. Many, however, will appreciate the transparency exhibited by management and are likely to be more cautious once made aware that a certain situation poses a very real threat.
Mass communication of events should be carried out from the time that they are brought to the attention of safety personnel through to completion of corrective actions. In this way, a project will show its employees that it cares about keeping them informed, and that there are no hidden agendas or reasons to withhold information. Through continuous updates, employees are also able to be better prepared for any changes as they may come.
A quick and easy method to distribute important safety information amongst a project is the use of mass communication software. This can be used to send out an alert to all personnel, informing them that an event has occurred. Some types of software even include a feature that blocks a person’s ability to use their mobile device until they acknowledge that they have read the safety alert that was sent out. This can help ensure that personnel are receiving and reading notifications, and ideally taking preventative actions to avoid recurrence once they are notified of the hazard. This type of communication can also alert personnel to stay clear of an area where an investigation is ongoing, or where the event has impacted access into the work space. The use of mass communication software can efficiently disseminate information on a real-time basis, minimizing delays and the opportunity for a similar event to occur.
For many unsafe events, it would also prove beneficial to inform personnel of the previous day’s event in daily morning huddles, or prior to the start of a new shift. In this manner, information spread from employee to employee will come from one reliable source rather than through rumors, and again it will not appear as though information is being withheld. During morning huddles, employees can also ask questions and receive more information to best be equipped to prevent recurrence and to feel confident that management is taking appropriate actions toward remediation.
As corrective actions are implemented, informing the entire project will further display unity and transparency, showing all personnel that management cares about improving safety. This could in turn heighten the likelihood that others will bring up safety issues as it has now been made evident that they will be acknowledged and addressed. Employees also may feel more appreciative and trustful of management and their commitment to safety and improvement.
Management should always remember that being as transparent as possible, both with positive situations as well as with unsafe events, is key in gaining workers’ trust. Only by working as a team, communicating with one another, and trusting that personnel will report unsafe events in order to gain lessons learned, will a project truly be successful with respect to safety. Management’s role is to facilitate this communication and prove that every person’s involvement is key by spreading the word and distributing key safety information where it may benefit any and all personnel project-wide.
Interested in mass communication software for your workplace? Learn more about Zinc at: https://www.zinc.it/employee-safety-communication-app/.