As mentioned in " How to Develop a Workplace Safety Messages Campaign" Part 1, marketing is the key to getting your safety messages heard and understood.
But how does the ordinary safety professional instigate a marketing campaign to educate staff about safety initiatives?
Let's do some Marketing 101 lessons, to look at the steps you need to undertake to deliver your marketing (oops, safety) strategy.
- Who is your audience? You need to work out who your target audience is and their demographics. Are they mainly males 35 - 55 years? Or a combination of both males and females, but aged 15 - 25 years? By working out exactly who your audience is, you can better work out the types of communication they are more likely to watch, read and hear.
- What are your objectives? What are you trying to achieve? How can you measure the success of the communication program? What data can you measure both before and after the launch of the new safety campaign?
- What is your message? What is it that you want to say? If it is to raise awareness about safe forklift driving, why do you need to let people know about this. Ensure that you let people know what the safety initiative is and why it is important. How can you ensure all departments have the same consistent message?
- What communication methods can you use? Ideally, use multiple types of communication and deliver it multiple times. Put together a strategy as to how you can communicate the same safety messages daily, weekly or monthly.
Let's take a look at an example.
Gypsum Board Manufacturers of Australasia (GBMA) needed a manual handling training program to train 3,000 workers from five different companies on how to handle plasterboard safely. In the plasterboard industry, manual handling injuries are the most common of injuries.
The training program was treated as a marketing exercise. An iconic plasterboard man was designed who featured on all of the communication. A slogan was also created "Move it - The GBMA Way". Both the iconic man and the slogan were a way of reminding workers on a daily basis about the training they had received. Training centred around a 20 minute training video that also included medical animations to show how the back works. A trainer's manual, PowerPoint Slides and employee handbook were used for training. The employee handbook was A6 size to encourage workers to keep in pockets or lockers for easy reference. Posters were also designed with the same theme as a daily reminder.
"The training material components were key in engaging roles such as Team Leaders to deliver the training to their teams effectively. One of the keys to getting engagement with the safety messages on a daily basis has been the handbooks and posters to prompt training information.". Gerard Crosswell, GIB NZ
Effective safety communication needs to be very specific to your organisation and tailored to your workplace demographics and culture.
It must integrate with a company’s day to day activities and be of value to the workers watching it. Slick communication materials are not the answer.
Care needs to be taken so that communication materials are credible and easy to understand.
But more importantly, any safety communication needs to provide daily reminders to staff while they work, for the best results.
How can you best communicate your new safety initiatives?