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Safety Speaks: Why Communication is Key for Safe Workspaces

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While some might suggest that facility managers should be primarily “behind-the-scenes” (until something breaks), we couldn’t disagree more. In fact, our experience shows that the best facilities are often those which actively encourage dialogue between employees and facility managers. Beyond merely procuring comfortable working conditions, this communication is of paramount importance for maintaining a safe work environment.

 

A 2005 study from CRISO found that a “communication network” was paramount in preventing dangerous situations at work.

“The communication network provides a cohesive and supportive framework in which people and systems of work can interact purposively and co-operatively. Clear and constructive safety communication provides the mechanism by which knowledge and understanding can be improved to prevent at-risk behaviours and to enhance safety culture.”

 

A few examples of what we’re highlighting:

 

Communicating Emergency Preparedness

 

As discussed last week, it’s crucial to put plans in place—even just basic guidelines to help keep employees out of harm’s way in the event of an emergency. We recommend a few short meetings every year to discuss evacuation routes, as well as to answer any questions. By understanding their roles, employees can not only keep themselves safe, but also better contribute to early identification of problems.

 

Giving Updates on Work Zones

 

By keeping communication lines open, facility managers can better inform a facility’s residents about upcoming work, areas to avoid, and even expected outages. In the case of damage to utilities (such as electricity and gas), knowing which areas to avoid can help dramatically limit employees’ exposure to dangerous situations. In these cases, helpful communication can be as simple as a wet floor sign, or as detailed as a company-wide memo.

 

Sharing Access & Availability

 

Far too many accidents occur simply because a facility’s tenants don’t know that certain resources exist. Those seeking to reach up high on a shelf, for example, can often fall when using unstable climbing equipment such as office chairs. By making it clear that resources such as ladders and step stools exist—and having them readily accessible—facility managers can help negate costly injuries.

 

Outlining Where Resources Are Before They’re Needed

 

Every office should keep a robust first aid kit handy, and every employee should know where it is and how to access the medical supplies they need. Beyond this, the nature of your work and inventory may also warrant additional resources, such as eye wash stations and fire extinguishers.

 

Of course, the guidelines above are merely a few of many ways that open communication with facility managers can improve building’s safety. If your organization doesn’t yet have a platform capable of fostering these types of communications, we’re happy to provide a trial of CrowdComfort!

 

Interested in more posts like this? Find our full blogroll of safety-themed posts here.

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