It’s not something anyone likes to talk about, but the reality is that strong organizations suffer a blow to their finances, operations, and reputation every day because they failed to prepare for safety/security threats — whether that’s crime, natural or man-made disasters, an employee or customer getting hurt on company property. News headlines are full of such incidents, and no organization is immune.

One automotive supplier based here in the Midwest came to us some time ago, looking to boost their employees’ safety and well-being. As a global auto parts manufacturer, this client had a lot to protect (and a lot to lose) in 25 manufacturing facilities and 23,000+ employees nationwide.

Just as important, the client wanted to tie safety with employee health and productivity, which makes a lot of sense if you have efficient mass notification systems.

Their goals:

  • To improve employee safety on company property
  • To communicate effectively in an extremely noisy environment
  • To synchronize time clocks throughout their facility, from the breakroom to the production floor and beyond.

The first rule of effective mass notifications? Diversify your communication formats and vehicles.

When an alert is issued, someone is going to be away from their computer, someone’s phone will be dead, someone will be in a position where they can’t see visual alerts, and someone will be unable to hear. The only way to reach every recipient, without delay? Hit them with multiple communications at once.

For our automotive client, that meant:

  1. Installing large LED scrolling signs to visually communicate emergencies, facility temperature and recommended hydration breaks.
  2. Integrating LED signs with a fire panel interface to (a) automate text messages and emails to first responders, and (b) notify employees of emergencies on LEDs. (LEDs were also integrated with an existing speaker system, making the most of technology the client already had.)
  3. Synchronizing time throughout the facility through a time clock interface.

The outcome was three-fold:

  • Employees stay hydrated and healthy given the mass notifications when plant temperatures rise to potentially unsafe levels.
  • Productivity is enhanced.
  • No more time discrepancies throughout the building and production floor, so employees are clocking in/out at consistent, appropriate times.

How do you currently communicate messages that can’t wait and that impact the safety of your audiences?