Ergonomics done right.®
November 6th, 2008

Leverage Internal Resources for Safety & Ergonomics Communication

In a recent blog post from Blog 4 Safety (How do you communicate safety issues to your employees?), the use of posters to communicate safety issues was emphasized, along with techniques on selecting posters. I found the title of this topic to be a little misleading due to the lack of information presented.

Where we have found success in communication is incorporating safety messages into existing initiatives or meetings, such as reserving space on employee boards that are dedicated to ergonomics or reserving the first 15 minutes at an all-employees meeting to discuss new ergonomic improvements or safety initiatives.

Showing off the efforts of a continuous improvement team along a metrics board can help grab the attention of all levels of the organization. Always remember that aesthetics comes into play, so use lots of pictures and visuals. Consider the location of your messages as well, remembering where employees will be spending most of their time during breaks. Several companies I've worked with have incorporated media systems into their cafeterias, which have always been a favorite for displaying ergonomic projects. Convenience in the selected locations is also key.  For example, positioning safety observation comment boxes directly at employee ID swipe in/out areas makes it easier to attain input and acts as a daily reminder that employee feedback is valuable. Leveraging daily pre-shift meetings to notify employees about new safety procedures and ergonomic equipment can also help with extending the message to a large population.

So, although posters can help to communicate safety and ergonomics, keep in mind the internal methods that can also be utilized and never forget that there is no better alternative than face-to-face conversations.