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Written by
on 17 February 2015


Who would have thought that telling tales would be a major part of a health and safety strategy?

But we felt pretty inspired after reading this great post on the RoSPA blog, all about how we can use stories to actually improve workplace safety.

We’d never thought of it like that before – but it makes perfect sense. After all, when you communicate things better, we’re all the more likely to pay attention to the details. So what better way to communicate than by telling each other a really attention-grabbing story?

This doesn’t mean that you need to dig out the Grimm Book of Health and Safety Fairytales. Although we’re pretty sure those guys could cook up some scary tales!

To get you thinking, check out these ideas on how you can improve your communication – and make a safer workplace.

Keep a clear log

When things are going on pretty much 24/7, anyone stepping into the scene after a break needs to be able to get up to speed quickly.

And having a well-maintained log book is essential for doing this.

They’re a brilliant tool to communicate between shift workers and supervisors – especially if they’re not on site together at the same time. It’s worth making it mandatory to check out the log book first before starting any work – to make sure they know what happened before!

Send a text

Everyone is armed with at least a basic mobile phone these days – they’re probably the most useful multipurpose tool in our kit!

But we sometimes forget their basic function – as a communication device. It’s dead easy to send a quick text – or even fire off an email – to keep the rest of the team up to speed.

If there’s an emergency, there’s often no quicker way of letting people know! Of course, it’s important to make sure people check their messages too. Even outside work hours.

Go old school

As much as we love all our mod cons, sometimes you can’t beat the old school system of the classic bulletin board.

Ok – not much help in a spur of the moment emergency – you’ve got your mobile for that. But for sharing general updates and messages with everyone on a regular basis?

The bulletin board makes it easy. Simply stick up a notice for all to see!

Keep posting relevant though. If you start putting up non-essential stuff, people will start to ignore what’s on the board. And this could have serious consequences if they miss something important!

Meet between shift changes

That tricky transition period between shift overlaps and changes?

That’s when communication slip ups can often happen. Especially if the old and new teams are in the dark about what each other has been up to!

A quick and easy solution for you – meet up and have a quick chat! Even a quick, informal briefing can give enough time to fill each other in on what’s going on.

Your takeaway points

  • have a log book to record what’s going on
  • send texts and emails to each other about any issues
  • use a bulletin board to share important info
  • meet up between shift changes to fill each other in!

How are you working on improving your workplace communication? Drop us a line and let us know!

A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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