Did you know that the better the communication within your facility, the safer the work environment is? The good news is communication is easier now, more than ever before, thanks to cloud technology and smarter warehouse management systems.
We may all complain about technology, constant connectivity, and learning to use it to our advantage, but consider this:
- More than a 100 years ago, the U.S. reported 61 deaths per 100,000 workers.
- Today, the S. Bureau of Statistics reports only 3 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Those figures show quite an improvement in safety over the past century, but there is more work to be done.
Shared knowledge makes your facility safer
A vital component of a safe manufacturing or warehouse facility is clear and consistent communication among all employees. It helps to minimize grumbling and division throughout your facility, and it provides everyone with the necessary information to perform their job safely.
Some key points to consider when communicating include:
- Be consistent when communicating on a matter. Don’t provide one answer to one person and a different answer to another.
- Don’t devalue other team members because they may think differently than you,. Recognize that the best decision will be made because other team members have different perspectives.
- Good and clear communication leads to involvement. Inform people whenever you plan to do something different or new, and explain why you’re doing it. Keeping individuals in the dark about decisions only adds frustration.
One of the most powerful things a facility can do is to create a true safety reporting system that equips employees with the tools needed to track, record, and report incidents and near-misses.
Also recognize that workforce safety is not a singular event. For facilities to be effective, communication is a long-term commitment, and workforce safety initiatives need to be part of the daily efforts of achieving operational excellence. This starts with the opportunity for employees to openly communicate their safety insights to senior leadership.
Finally, remember that workplace changes of any kind, like new orders or packaging new equipment, all require clear communication and, often, additional training. It’s usually helpful to document and track these changes and how they were received by workers.
Here are the basics on how to communicate before, during, and after a change occurs:
Hold interactive weekly safety talks.
- Review all applicable OSHA standards.
- Communicate any kind of upcoming changes in the facility that could impact employee safety.
- Post safety rules to ensure workers are familiar with them.
Keep documentation and logs up to date, and make it habit to review them.
- The use of telematics can record data and provide faster solutions when conducting incident analysis.
- Telematics can assist in eliminating future risks with historical data used for predictive analytics, operator report cards, tracking solutions for manufacturing enterprises, and charts that show accident trends, near-misses, and driving violations.
Keep on training
- Workers should be trained on any new equipment or change in process.
- Use telematics to log and track operator certifications.
Technology today can quickly merge data regarding inventory, people, and hard assets. And cloud-based telematics facilitates the communication component, keeping everyone informed and working safely and efficiently.