3 Ways to Elevate Your Safety Message
Author: Carol Dupree, Published August 2016; BIC Magazine
Is there a topic more central to your success than improving safety at your company?
Browse the pages of any industry publication today, and articles abound on “why” you should integrate safety as a core value. But do you know “how” to elevate your safety message across your organization in the most effective way? What should the focus of the content be? Or what’s the best medium when you can’t deliver the message in person?
To get a first-hand industry perspective, Launch Media contacted Associated Builders and Contractors to exchange ideas about ongoing safety communication and its importance. We especially wanted to learn more about ABC’s report on the role new hire orientations, toolbox talks and other leading indicators play on companies’ safety performance.
“The driving force behind the ABC Safety Performance Report, launched in 2015, was our belief that every safety incident is preventable,” said ABC V.P. of Health Safety & Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “The report uses six leading indicator questions from our Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) — and through an analysis of the records submitted each year, the report conclusively shows that proper implementation of leading indicators helps prevent jobsite incidents.”
Based on ABC’s findings and Launch Media’s expertise in visual communication, here are three best practices for delivering important messages and encouraging zero-incident job sites:
1-Focus on Leading Indicators: Using leading indicators such as site-specific safety orientations and toolbox talks improve a company’s overall safety performance. To build a safety culture, a company must: 1) drive the message home to all employees that an incident, which disrupts lives, is unacceptable; and 2) reinforce the safety culture inside the company as well as outside, with external partners.
2-More Messages, More Often: The length and frequency of safety orientations and trainings have a direct correlation to the number of lives disrupted due to a jobsite incident. Companies that conduct toolbox talk training daily vs. weekly or biweekly, are statistically safer than their peers.
3-Use the Power of Sight and Motion: “A third of our brains are dedicated to vision,” writes Steven Pinker, renowned psychologist, Harvard professor and author of 10 books on language and cognition. “For us to go from ‘I think I understand’ to ‘I understand,’ we need to see the sights and feel the motions.” When C-level leaders aren’t available to present safety orientations for new employees or safety meetings to workers on a job site, the best alternative is video. It’s the only medium with the sight and motion employees need to understand and retain your company’s message about safety.
To learn more about the link between leading indicators and safety performance in the construction industry, visit http://bit.ly/ABCSafetyPerformanceReport.