Everyday workplace conversations about safety play a crucial part increating and nurturing safe working environments but has received considerably less research attention than overarching organisational factors (such as culture and leadership). WorkSafe is interested in this overlooked space, to define some of the key factors of effective safety communication in daily workplace exchanges.
A research team, led by Dr Sharon Newnam of the Monash Injury Research Institute, analysed existing writing on this subject and recorded real-life instances of verbal communication in Victorian workplaces. The team was able to note the kinds of social settings and language choices that supervisors select for conversations about safety, and identified types of communication that support and/or facilitate a safe working environment.
The report of this study, Defining Safety Communication in the Workplace: An Observational Study, provides new insights into the way leaders communicate safety in workplaces and can be used to inform the development of tools and strategies to effectively support safety communication.