Safety Communications Plan

Safety Communications Plan

Short and sweet advice from George Robotham from


Boring lecture. Alone sleeping student in empty auditoriumThere is not much use having great technical OHS skills if you cannot get your safety messages across effectively. Putting “Simple Communications” into Google will bring up some good advice. Much safety communications is simply too much like hard work and people give up on it! People will often not put the required hard work into complex communications.

Introducing major OHS initiatives are often aided by the formation of a special project team. An important task for the project team is to develop a communications plan as part of the overall project management plan.

Communications plan

The following is a brief outline of a communications plan-

  1. Assess your current communications. Did it get the desired results? How effective has it been? What went well? What opportunities for improvement were presented?
  2. What are you setting out to achieve?
  3. Who is the target audience?
  4. What are the key messages for the target audience?
  5. What communication channels will you use?
  6. What types of communication will you use? Face to face is often the best.
  7. What does the audience need to hear? Frame messages relevant to the environment of the person receiving the communication.
  8. Who will do the communicating? Often the direct supervisor is the best person to use for communication to frontline workers. High powered presentations from senior management often have credibility problems.
  9. What is the budget?
  10. What are the timelines for deliverables?
  11. How are you going to evaluate the effectiveness of communications?


It has been my experience that getting some short, sharp advice from a communications professional will target your communications more effectively. I found the book Communicating Change by T.J. Larkin useful.

George can be contacted on, he welcomes debate on the above (it would be indeed a boring world if everybody agreed with George)

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