Verbal Communication and Workplace Safety

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Verbal Communication Safety Talk

Every single day we are communicating with the people around us, regardless if we actually speak to them. The way we look at people, what we wear, our facial expressions, and our body language are just a few ways we communicate with others outside of spoken word. It is important to be aware of what message we are sending to those around us and how it is affecting them or the work you are completing.

Non Verbal and Verbal Communication

Most people would guess that verbal communication makes up the majority of communication. Studies show, however, that the majority of communication is actually nonverbal. This nonverbal communication is linked to the actual words we say. The Non Verbal Group states, “Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc.).”

While this statement makes the claim that we overwhelmingly communicate non verbally, much of the communication is delivered through how we talk, not so much as through what we say. When is the last time you gave thought to the link between how you communicate and the effect it has on the people around you?

communication safety toolbox talkWhy We Need to Be Aware of How We Communicate

Everyone has worked with someone who is consistently negative and is hard to approach about anything. Oftentimes, most people do not want to approach these individuals or communicate with them due to how they communicate verbally and nonverbally. When an individual snaps back or approaches communication with others in a negative manner, it is difficult to get any message across. Going back to the statistic about how communication is more about how we say something and less about what we actually say, everyone should be aware of how they are coming across to others.

When we pay no mind to how we communicate with each other, messages are lost or not conveyed at all. At work, communication is vital is being able to work safely and efficiently. When everyone feels comfortable being able to approach each other, it creates a healthier working environment. Effective and open communication creates a working environment that can lead to individuals feeling comfortable stopping work when needed, more hazards addressed, higher morale, less stress, and better cohesiveness between work groups.


Think about how you come off to others you are working with. Almost any problem in the workplace can be solved with effective and respectful conversations. Try to adjust the way you communicate verbally and nonverbally with others at work to enhance your working environment, not hurt it.

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