Lack of communication impacts on safety

9th February 2018 By: Paige Müller - Creamer Media Reporter

Lack of communication impacts on safety

GYSBERT KAPPERS Constant health and safety communications result in safety practices becoming habitual in an organisation

Many large companies typically do not have the required technology or resources available to adequately communicate with lower-level staff, which software company Wyzetalk believes affects industry health and safety negatively.

“Organisations provide a corporate email address for executives and middle management, but cannot afford to do so for blue-collar workers. This typically means that these workers receive no news, they do not know what is happening in the business and it’s very difficult for the organisation to communicate with its people,” says Wyzetalk CEO Gysbert Kappers.

According to analytics and consulting company Gallup, 85% of employees globally are not engaged in the organisation for which they work. The company further states that a lack of sufficient employee engagement can have negative consequences, including increased absenteeism, lower productivity levels, accelerated staff turnover and increased work-related injuries.

It further states that companies with superior employee engagement records are proven to be 17% more productive, have sales records that are 20% higher and are generally 21% more profitable.

Beyond profitability, Kappers says regular communication regarding work-related heath and safety issues assists in improving company health and safety practices.

“Communicating health and safety practices frequently at all levels of an organisation and providing statistical information on health and safety initiatives informs the organisation on which safety practices to accelerate and how to refine new practices to protect the people they employ.”

Kappers explains that Wyzetalk is an innovative cloud-based employee engagement platform that was first launched in 2013 to assist companies in reaching all their non-desk-based employees.

“Wyzetalk continually delivers health and safety notifications, such as best practice information, accident reports and equipment check information to the mobile devices of all employees instantly. This keeps health and safety concerns at the forefront of the minds of employees and ensures that safety considerations become habitual as opposed to being an afterthought.”

The software is tailored to suit each business’s unique requirements. Kappers explains that the Wyzetalk team works with clients to produce customised content that is further personalised for the individual needs of employees, based on their human resource records. Dissemination and employee interaction with all content is then tracked and made available to the organisation.

Kappers states that Wyzetalk currently has a 70% read rate of all health and safety communications, thus improving employee interaction with health and safety materials.

To ensure employee comfort and content interaction, Wyzetalk is multilingual and is currently the only software solution globally that is completely agnostic – allowing for its functioning on any mobile device.

“Generally, people assume that everybody in the world has a smartphone device. This is completely incorrect – in fact, between 50% and 70% of South African blue-collar workers are still using the old Nokia or Motorola devices,” says Kappers.

Wyzetalk currently serves 20 companies and caters to 200 000 individual users. It has had notable success in improving company health and safety, having been personally thanked in 2017 by AngloGold Ashanti’s independent nonexecutive chairperson Sipho Pityana for contributing to the company’s best safety record in history, at the time. Wyzetalk plans to expand its employee engagement cloud-based software into the Middle East and Europe this year.