Safety Communications Skills Motivational Speaker

Safety Communications Speaker Mike Hourigan

Mike Hourigan, Safety Communications Skills Motivational Speaker

Too Many Signs, Not Enough Communication

We should all know that communication skills are vital to safety. In fact, improving safety communications is a frequent topic in my safety keynote addresses and safety breakout sessions given by a breakout speaker.
When there is a breakdown in communicating safety, people die or get injured. While employees understand the importance of safety, they often don’t get the message. At the end of the day, they simply want to get home and return to their personal lives but they don’t want lectures or half-hearted efforts at communication. This is why you need a Safety Speaker.

More than Signs
Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (February 22, 2018) pointed out that “Some people view signage as ‘due diligence,’ and post signs everywhere, but having too many signs in a workplace is overwhelming and can be counterproductive.”

The article goes on to explain that plastering an area with signs can be “just too much to take in at one time.”
To make matters worse, if workers are hauled into mandatory safety training and the presenter is disinterested or conveys that she or he is required by OSHA to talk about safety, the message can get disregarded as well.

Industrial Psychiatrist Marc Green, M.D., an expert on safety, has stated “If the person believes that there is great danger, then s/he will see a larger benefit in compliance. Conversely, perception of small danger means low benefit and compliance will decrease.”

The manager who treats a safety talk as though it is something “mandated” rather than needed will convey that “ho-hum” message. As someone who once worked in construction, I know all too well the number of foremen and managers who believe safety talks to be a waste of time. It is hardly that.

If we take just one industry, such as highway and street construction, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that about 20,000 workers are injured on the job each year. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics showed that from 2008 to the present, approximately 100 road construction workers were killed each year with about half of those fatalities occurring “within the cones.” And this is just the one industry.

Why Safety Communications is Failing
What will it take to improve safety communications in your industry? Industry leaders stress a positive, meaningful approach to changing the culture — not just signs, slogans and buzzwords.
An article written for Environmental Health & Safety entitled “The Top 10 Ways to Improve Safety Management,” stresses that companies must lead rather than manage safety efforts and that safety shouldn’t be a top priority (because priorities change), but a core value.
​Safety communications often fail in the workplace because workers are directed to be safe through signs and dull presentations rather than being shown why it is important to be safe. In making safety a core value, the safety department and the way in which it communicates throughout the organization needs to be elevated to the same status as purchasing, sales or marketing.
​Communicating safety is an active, dynamic process and the end-game isn’t about delivering feel-good messages but saving lives.

Mike Hourigan, Safety Communications Skills Motivational Speaker

For more information on Mike Hourigan’s Safety Communications Skills motivational keynote speeches and breakout session training, call him today at: (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.

Safety Training Speaker Mike Hourigan

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    Mike does much more than present one-of-a-kind keynote speeches - he provides fun and fact filled breakout sessions as well as dynamic training programs for numerous organizations like Marriott, Disney, Harley-Davidson and even the U.S. Army.