Safety talks are especially important to supervisors in the workplace and on work sites because they afford each supervisor the opportunity to convey, in a timely manner, important information to workers. Safety talks may not be as effective as one-on-one communications, but they still surpass a memorandum or written message. In the 5 to 10 minutes before the workday, during a shift, at a break, or as needed, this technique helps communicate time-sensitive information to a department, crew, or work team.
Plan your lines of communication and keep them open. A safety and health program or effort may be good on paper, but unless it is communicated to the workers, it is useless. Even more important is the company's credibility. Does the company mean what they say about commitment to safety and health? Do they demonstrate that commitment? Is the organization always reinforcing the safety performance that they desire? Continue to work on communicating. Failure to communicate is like the man who winks in the dark and no one knows it. Communications regarding safety and health are vital to an efficient safety and health program.
Reese, C.D. Accident/Incident Prevention Techniques (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012. Reese, C.D. Occupational Health and Safety Management (Third Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2016.
Reese, C.D. and J.V. Eidson. Handbook of OSHA Construction Safety & Health (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC/Lewis Publishers, 2006.
Zhang, H., D.A. Wiegmann, T.L. von Thaden, G. Sharma, and A.A. Mitchell. Safety Culture: A Concept in Chaos? Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Santa Monica, 2002.