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Clear ways to communicate to your workforce your health and safety policy
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Clear ways to communicate to your workforce your health and safety policy

by Innes Donaldson

To be effective, the management commitment should not only come in the sahpe of well written down policies, these must be clearly communicated to the target group - by words, action as well as example!

To be effective, Top management must state its commitment to safety, quality, etc. through a written and clearly communicated policy. This policy usually outlines the value of providing a safe place for employees to work or producing a quality product. The key here is that Top management must sign the policy statement, post it, and then communicate what it means to all employees. In an effort to strengthen management's commitment, any bargaining agent, and employees alike, should be encouraged to pledge their commitment by reviewing the policy, making comments, and signing this policy along with top management.

The basis of every successful system is top management's support with an active and aggressive commitment to the safety process. This is where they will demonstrate their involvement by following all safety rules and not when it is convenient. This commitment, in turn, influences the actions of managers, supervisors, and employees. It ultimately determines the effectiveness of your management system.

In an effort to provide some guidance on developing an effective policy statement, we begin the journey by providing suggested ways to communicate your safety policy statement after it is written. We have seen some policy statements that are several pages long, and read like a book. The key is to make your policy statement as simple as possible so that you and your employees will be able to remember the words and be able to communicate the intent to others. A good safety policy, in our opinion, may be several lines, just enough to convey your message.

To be effective, once you have developed your safety policy, it is important that it is communicated to all employees. The following are three ways on how to communicate your written safety policy, by words, action, and by setting an example:

  1. Communicating by words
    A new employee starts learning about the company's safety attitude from the first day on the job. By discussing the safety policy, job hazards, and providing training in safe work procedures, both one-on-one and in-group meetings, you tell the employee that safety has a high value in your company. Managers and supervisor's continuing emphasis on safety reinforces this positive attitude. In the smallest of companies, the safety policy may be easily explained and understood through spoken statements.
     
  2. Communicate By Action
    What you do, or fail to do, speak louder than what you say and do not say (or write). You must demonstrate your concern for your employees' by committing resources to the prevention, control, and correction of unsafe conditions, to safe work practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) where needed, and the appropriate level of training. Whenever you demonstrate a willingness to put safety before short-term production goals, your actions forcefully and clearly state and define your policy.
     
  3. Communicate By Example
    Top management, middle management, and supervision express the company's attitude toward safety by their own actions every day. You cannot turn this commitment on and off. It must be consistent.

Aricle Source: http://www.amazines.com/article_detail.cfm/6243460?articleid=6243460

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