Communication Tools

The following are some the communication techniques that can be used to make communications related to safety and health more effective.

  • • Written materials (paycheck stuffers)
  • • Bulletin boards
  • • Electronic signs
  • • Computers
  • • Posters
  • • Public address systems
  • • Safety and health talks

Written Materials

Written materials should be ergonomically sound so that they are easily readable, legible, and understandable by the workforce. They should also be attention getting. This can be accomplished by using black print on white or yellow paper, as this is more visually favorable than other combinations. Make the message as simple as possible. Do not make the page(s) too cluttered. Actually, double columns (such as those used by newspapers) are more readable than single ones.

It is a wasted communication tool if no one will read it. Your workforce may have poor reading skills, or the culture of the workforce may be such that they do not like to read. If this is the case, you are wasting your money investing in written type of materials.

Written materials are only useful for a short time period. It is a good idea to use them sparingly, maybe once a month as a stuffer in the payroll envelope or during a safety talk. If you post it on the bulletin board, it will be read within a week. You should then take it down since it has probably been read by all of those who will take the time to read it. At times, you may develop plasticized cards that contain new rules, inspection directions, operator guidelines, or changes in procedures, which you cannot expect a worker to memorize. These cards should fit into a shirt pocket and can act as reminders to workers if they have questions when no one is around. At times, it is recommended that safe operating procedures be plasticized and placed on machinery or equipment that is complicated to operate or not operated frequently. If you use written materials, test them out on the audience before mass distribution. Written materials have their place in fostering workplace safety and health communications.

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