The importance of communication in health and safety cannot be over-stated. To business leaders, if health and safety is important to you, you need to communicate the fact so that employees get the message and it becomes important to them too.
There are often 3 interrelated methods of communication in play within organisations: –
a. written communications in the form of policies, procedures etc;
b. verbal communications – what you say; and
c. visible communications – what you do.
Often, it’s the visible communication that senior managers find the toughest. There’s little point in saying that nothing comes before the safety of your people and that they’re your highest priority, if you don’t then follow through. Relegating the importance of health and safety when it’s expedient to do so, sends the strongest message of all and is often the reason why employees think you don’t care – even when you say you do.
But even when you really do care, getting it right isn’t easy. Central to getting it right is having a competent source of advice and assistance on health and safety. If you really do care but you regularly find you can’t follow through on the advice you’re receiving, it could be you’re getting the wrong advice.