Why Communications?

Communication is the key to OSH. The training message of accident prevention must constantly be reinforced. Use constant reminders in the form of message boards, fliers, newsletters, paycheck inserts, posters, the spoken word, safety talks, meetings, and face-to-face encounters. Make the message consistent with the policies and practices of the company in order for it to be believable and credible. It is important to communicate safety and health goals and provide feedback progress toward accomplishing those goals. Most workers want their information in short, easily digested units.

Face-to-face interactions personalize the communications, provide information immediately (no delays), and allow for two-way communications, which improves the accuracy of the message. Finally, these interactions provide for performance and real-time feedback and reinforcement regarding safety and health.

Why Is Training a Key Element?

Training is one of the most important elements of any safety and health program. Each training item should describe methods for introducing and communicating new ideas into the workplace, reinforcing existing ideas and procedures, and implementing the safety and health program into action. The training needs may include manager and supervisor training, worker task training, employee updates, OJT, hands-on training, and new- worker orientation. The content of new-worker or new-site training should include at least the following topics:

  • • Company safety and health program and policy
  • • Employee and supervisory responsibilities
  • • Hazard communication training
  • • Emergency and evacuation procedures
  • • Location of first-aid stations and fire extinguishers and emergency telephone numbers
  • • Site-specific hazards
  • • Procedures for reporting injuries
  • • Use of PPE
  • • Hazard identification and reporting procedures
  • • Review of each safety and health rule applicable to the job
  • • Site tour or map where appropriate

It is a good idea to have follow-up for all training, which may include working with a more experienced worker, supervisor coaching, job observations, and reinforced good/ safe work practices.

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