Powering Strong Communities

5 Ways to Improve Workplace Safety through Digital Communications

By David Gilbert, VP of Americas, Whispir

Engaging and effective communication is critical for distributed workforces. It’s essential for creating a safe and compliant environment, especially in high-risk industries like utilities, construction, and mining.

Unfortunately, not every workforce has the time, resources, and knowhow to ensure their business communication solutions are up to the task. Instead, many organizations continue to rely on outdated, paper-based communications for aspects like auditing. Or, they utilize a mixture of different solutions without a centralized way of managing them.

Luckily, through effective, centralized, and digitized communication, you can improve your utility’s safety and compliance. Here are five ways to help you do just that:

1. Keep employees up to date with real-time communications

It’s natural for safety and compliance rules to be updated periodically and for training to be required both routinely and when new legislation is introduced. When these major changes occur, it’s important to quickly deploy engaging, effective communication.

With timely messages to your employees' channel of choice, you'll more effectively inform your workers and, as a result, keep them safer.

2. Make it easy for employees to report incidents

If an employee spots a potential hazard — such as a piece of equipment out of place or machinery not operating properly — they need an easy way to report it. Even more importantly, they need acknowledgment that the issue will be taken care of. Otherwise, employees won’t feel as though their safety is being prioritized, and they’ll be less likely to report future hazards as they occur.

The most effective way of handling hazard mitigation is by first creating a simple process for employees to use (such as sending a text message). Then, you can automate the mitigation process, including sending confirmation to the employee that their report has been received, and then automatically escalating it to the appropriate person for action.

3. Collect employee data and allow for two-way feedback

Digital solutions let you send employees surveys, polls, and other form-fillable communications. These data-gathering forms can accomplish everything from helping you better schedule shifts to providing insight into your employees’ approaches to safety protocols.

The ability to create forms also helps you test the effectiveness of training, issue daily compliance checklists, and more. With this capability, the possibilities are truly extensive and can be customized to exactly what your organization needs. 

Just as you’d like feedback from your employees, they should receive it from you. Digital communications can be another platform for supervisors to reinforce whether employees are doing the right thing.

4. Store audit trails securely and centrally

Compliance requires successful audits, and successful audits require being able to provide auditors with logs and records of all relevant communications. This is much more difficult to do if your communications aren’t centralized.

Effective digital communications solutions automatically store fully auditable logs of all conversations. These logs should be easily accessible to prove that incidents are handled appropriately, employees are properly trained, and all rules are followed while employees are on site.

5. Create a broader culture of workplace safety and compliance

When communications are frequent, open, and frictionless, the messages being communicated are absorbed into workplace culture.

Seamless, optimized safety and compliance communications can create a workplace culture that prioritizes safety and compliance. The more regular and positive communication about the topic is, the stronger a workforce’s safety culture becomes.

Learn more about enhancing the safety and compliance of your workplace

Tapping into the power of digital, two-way communications is an incredibly beneficial way of enhancing your workplace safety and compliance. However, many organizations find it difficult to know where to start, and how to effectively implement robust communication solutions without increasing the burden on their workforce or resources.

Learn how digital communication tools can benefit your distributed workforce, read real-life use cases and scenarios, and be empowered to get started implementing these solutions for yourself in How to Improve Workforce Safety and Compliance with the Right Digital Communications Technology, a guide from Whispir.