AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Mistakes to avoid in effective safety communication

Well-developed abilities are required for effective safety communication. You must be able to handle time limitations and a high workload while managing other personnel and projects, all while maintaining communication channels open as a manager or leader. To strengthen their speech, good communicators employ listening skills and nonverbal strategies.

In face-to-face communication, you take what you want to say as it exists in your head, convert or code it into words and sometimes gestures, then convey the message in speech and possibly signs.

The receiver hears your words, sees your gestures, and interprets what they mean to you.

Unfortunately, communication breakdowns happen far too frequently, and the sender’s message may be utterly twisted by the time it is deciphered by the receiver.

This article examines the several types of safety communication that are often employed in organizations; the challenges to effective communication; and five areas where you may enhance your verbal communication abilities.

What are the essential elements of safe communication?

Companies engage in safety communication in a variety of areas to guarantee a safe workplace for their employees and visitors.

These are, but are not limited to:

  • Audits of safety: As you do your audit and generate reports, you identify areas that are working well and those that need improvement.

  • Risk assessment: When you do risk assessments on a regular basis, you are actively expressing the importance of safety.

  • JSAs and Take 5s: These documents outline your expectations for hazards and their mitigation.

  • Inductions and Training for Safety— Your training is essential for effective safety communication. It all starts with the Safety Induction, and subsequent refresher training supports and reinforces your message.

  • Prestarts, toolbox discussions, and safety briefings— These sorts of safety communication give you the opportunity to individually discuss your teams’ triumphs and challenges.

  • Emails, posters, and bulletin boards: Visual communications support your efforts to foster a safe and healthy workplace culture.

  • WHS legislation, codes of practice, recommendations, and the control hierarchy – The non-negotiables and standards for safety governance communications are established.

  • Procedures and policies: convert WHS legislation into actionable communication papers that prescribe desired behavior.

  • KPIs and performance evaluations: Examine your employee’s accomplishments and areas where they could improve.

What are the difficulties in effective safety communication?

Some examples of hurdles to successful safety communication include the receiver’s inability to grasp what you’re saying. Distractions and noise may also prevent your message from reaching its intended audience.

Misunderstandings can occur when we are communicating at “cross purposes,” where the receiver makes assumptions about the message you’re attempting to convey or jumps to conclusions. Furthermore, opposing perspectives on a topic can lead to someone failing to understand your point of view.

Fearful situations can sometimes alter what we see or hear. Finally, what you are attempting to say may be extremely complex, necessitating repeated hearing or reading to achieve comprehension.

There are various factors to consider when improving your verbal communication skills.

Make certain that your message is clear

First, be certain that your message is clear. This entails clarifying your ideas, thinking, and planning before speaking or writing. Your message must be simple and direct.

Be certain of your goals and arrange your communication to achieve them in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. Don’t cram too many objectives into your safety message; instead, be succinct and ensure that it is full and proper.

When communicating, always be aware of the overtones as well as the main core of your message. Consider both the long-term and immediate consequences of any communication.

Consider the physical and human environment

Second, whenever you speak, keep the overall physical and human environment in mind. Consider whether there are any circumstances or settings that reduce the likelihood of your safety communication being heard and understood as you would like. Is your environment noisy or distracting? If so, relocate to a more suitable site.

Use stalling tactics to allow yourself time to ponder before responding to avoid confrontation and misunderstandings. Before responding, you could request that a question be repeated or that a statement be clarified. If the situation calls for it, you could be willing to make a concession in order to achieve a happy medium.

Concentrate on what you’re trying to say

Third, concentrate on what you’re saying. When you’re multitasking, you can’t communicate properly. You’re almost certain to miss nonverbal cues in a discussion if you’re checking your phone, planning what you’re going to say next, or daydreaming.

To effectively communicate, you must avoid distractions, stay focused, and maintain eye contact. Your concentration will aid in piquing the other person’s interest in what is being communicated. All safety communication requires your undivided attention as a leader or manager.

Take notice of your body language

Fourth, be conscious of your body language. If you disagree with or dislike what is being said about your safety communication, you may respond with negative body language, such as crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, or tapping your feet.

You don’t have to agree with, or even enjoy, what’s being said, but it’s critical to avoid sending negative signals in order to communicate successfully and avoid putting the other person on the defensive. You must remain alert and open.


As a manager or leader, your communication skills have an impact on those you work with, so it is critical that you consider how you communicate and listen. This is especially crucial in your safety communication to support your efforts to keep your employees safe and healthy. Fortunately, most of us are constantly working to improve our communication abilities.