An adequate communication network is required to develop a positive health & safety culture within any organisation. Simply producing static documentation is insufficient and will often lead to confusion and negatively impact health & safety performance. Many organisations are managed by ‘top-down’ management systems. With this in mind, it is vital the management team fully commit to health & safety development and most importantly, appreciate why this is necessary. Once change has been adopted at a managerial level it is much easier to encourage the workforce to follow by example. Alternate forms of communication should be considered depending on the audience. Attention should be paid to work activities, time constraints & how information is usually distributed. Examples of specific communication techniques include toolbox talks, information sheets & interactive online documents. (4.2) explain the principles and concepts of: (4.2 a) written and verbal communication
For many years written communication has been used to manage health & safety information. This usually takes the form of typed documents and is typically stored in a static filing system. This approach has its own benefits, the use of signature sheets attached to paper documents allows for traceable records and improved defensibility. Handouts can easily be distributed to staff with irregular work patterns and information sheets can be displayed in communal areas. Verbal communication skills are necessary to influence decision making and justify change. The ability to process legislation and communicate the necessary information to decision makers is essential. Verbal communication is perhaps the most direct method although it is subject to certain obstacles. Foreign workers, for example, pose an obvious difficulty along with the listener’s capacity to remember information.
(4.2 b) electronic information, retrieval, storage and communication systems
Technology now plays a central role in proactive & reactive health and safety systems. It is common place for organisations to maintain an internal network to assist in communication & administrative control. These systems have the capacity to store health and safety policies, general risk assessments and employee information. This has obvious benefits in terms of accessibility but does not allow for written signatures. New interactive online systems are now in development that allows users to send, receive, complete, review & monitor health and safety documents in real time. These systems are far superior to traditional online databases that only allow for static documents. Over the next decade it is my belief that we will move away from leaver arch files and progress towards the benefits technology can offer to further develop health and safety systems. (4.3) describe the external factors influencing communication systems for health and safety information, to include: (4.3 a) health and safety risk assessment, control procedures and practices, technical developments and best practice It is a basic legal requirement for all employers to identify possible hazards, consider who might be harmed & take action to reduce the risk to a reasonable level. As working conditions vary due to structural development, new work practices and additional staff, it is vital risk assessments are reviewed to capture these changes. ACOPs provide industry accepted standards that are essential when formulating and shaping policies, plans and arrangements. Legislation should always be complied with and specific requirements must be observed. It is vital that all new information reaches those likely to be affected by it. This is done using the methods previously discussed. (4.3 b) proposed and new health and safety legislation, codes of practice and standards
Since the formation of the Health and Safety…