Communication Types For Staff Members In The Work Place

Information can be conveyed through Visual, Written, Non verbal and Verbal communication which are crucial in the workplace. These communication types in a workplace create understanding with regards to policies and keep the organisation smooth running as everyone is informed on their surroundings (laboratory procedures and practices) to reduce hazard risk and increase safety/welfare of employees.

Signage posters are used to effectively inform workers on chemicals undergoing use in an experiment and there dangers by means of simple pictures so they know the risk and if any hazard arises workers know how to control it. The advantage of visual communication is that it can be used to quickly inform workers who are unaware when senior members are not around to inform and address risks. This could have been used by the technician in the case study which would have eliminated the chance of injury to the assistant.

Information leaflet a form of written communication which is used to clearly inform all staff on experiments taking place and the hazards which can arise in detail making them more aware on their surroundings. Also Policies can be addressed therefore become more accessible to staff. However not all staff may read it. The advantage of using email is that information is sent to the receiver quickly however the email may not be opened and read. Unlike signage posters it can contain more information but signage posters can inform staff members quickly as it stuck on walls or next to procedures. This is a way to convey information when the recipient may not be around. However emails can be hacked and breach of data can occur.

Written communication also minimizes the chances of injury to workers within the lab or workplace as its main job is to inform, guide and advice. Benefits of having Group meetings a form of verbal communication is that the information is conveyed thoroughly and to everyone. They are a good way to enforce safety regulations, general goals and whether everyone understands events happening around and scientific terminologies used. It is a chance for people to ask questions to senior staff members. Training courses can be provided to anyone who needs it.

Group meetings are a form of interpersonal communication because it allows staff members to interact which can form healthy relations and therefore employees are more likely to communicate personal information such as aspects of work they are having problem with which would help increase workplace safety of the organisation.

Direct verbal communication for example between a technician and an assistant is an effective way to inform sit can allow direct questions to be asked and quick answers (quick timescale). However if there are barriers to communication such as tension between two staff members effective communication is slowed and may not be fulfilled. Verbal communication is one of the most effective as there are fewer barriers unlike written such as information leaflet and email which require to be opened and read. Additionally non verbal forms of communication such as tone of voice and hand gestures play a large role in how the information is conveyed to the receiver.

Example- communication

In a lab, all members were responsible for setting up the apparatus so anyone who noticed the benzene was running low would set up the distilling apparatus. This was very common and would be done several times a week. When Joe set up the apparatus he grabbed a narrow condensing unit even thought the larger bore units were labelled “for benzene only” he left for lunch thinking other technicians would observe the operation as it was a common practice.

While Joe went to lunch Sally noticed something happening with the operation so she went to take a closer look when the flask exploded in her face. She suffered from lacerations across the face and several weeks after the explosion had lost partial vision of one of her eyes. By not communicating a set rota for setting up the apparatus the procedure was left unobserved so when hazard arose there was no one to manage it consequently Sally had to check the problematic apparatus when it exploded.

By creating a staff routine for distilling apparatus means that the procedure would be observed so when a hazard does occur it can be controlled quickly before it becomes highly dangerous reducing chance of injury to workers and the destruction of the equipments and lab. Also the manager over sighted the importance of having a routine for simple procedures such as benzene distillation shows little risk assessment carried out therefore lowering the workplace safety ‘The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’.

Joe did not pay attention to the labelling “for benzene only” a form of written communication using a narrow condensing unit instead of a larger bore unit. By not reading the labelling he caused a chain of events to occur such as the increased likelihood of an accident by using the wrong equipment which led to permanent injury to sally. Joe may not have been told by a senior member what equipment he needed which led him to choose wrongly showing little staff support and maybe over sighting of verbal communication between technical personnel and the staff they support Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation (1998).

However there may have been misunderstanding during communication which led to Joe choosing the narrow condensing unit which shows the consequences of not having clear and effective communication. Additionally the lab did not have forms of visual communication such as posters to inform workers on equipments needed when benzene needs to be distilled. By not having this Joe could not correct himself and continued on with a process which ultimately resulted in an injured staff. (1 online example- procedure)-

A student who was supposed to heat mixture of chemical liquids gently heated it strongly. After he immediately put the test tube under a girls nose for her to the gas. Both were not wearing goggles. The hot chemicals squirted onto the face and eye of the girl. She was taken to hospital and given medical help. She did not have permanent injuries but had to take sick leave. The student who was heating the mixture did not handle the chemical and hot glassware (test tube) carefully which is a procedure that is followed to reduce chance of injury to handler.

Goggles were not worn so a senior member should have informed them about the health and safety regulations which could have reduced the fatality of the damage. This suggests the student were not told to do risk assessment which would inform the students on potential hazard such as contact with chemical and the precaution which should be taken.

By not following simple procedures it led to an injured student which could have been eliminated if the careful handling of chemicals and equipment had been practiced. Also when the students were handling the chemical the staff member did not give appropriate handling advice which resulted in the injury. If clear risk assessment had been carried out, handling advice was given and the student knew about the danger of heating the chemicals strongly the likelihood of this danger occurring would have been minimized.

Overall, it is highly important to follow procedure to ensure a safe work place, reduce likelihood of injury to co workers and create a smooth running organisation. Communication should be clearly conveyed through different means to ensure everyone is aware on changes, updates and chemicals so they know the risk and how to manage it. Effective communication should be used so all staff know their role and there are no misunderstanding leading to increased team work, safety and productivity.

03 December 2019
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