All of us depend on verbal communication for the exchange of information or instructions.
Depending on the job, an individual may be responsible for transmitting or receiving
information in the form of operating instructions, feedback on the results of operations,
reports of operational data, or emergency warnings and instructions. Whether face-to-
face or electronic communication, this information has to be transmitted and received; it
has to be accurate and complete; most importantly, it has to be understood.
Communication problems have caused many adverse situations in Department of Energy
(DOE) facilities. Inadequate communication can be identified as a causal or contributing
factor in human performance-related events. Principal areas in which poor
communications can cause problems include shift turnover, pre-job briefings, and during
job performance. Facilities can reduce the contribution to adverse situations by ensuring
that verbal communications are conducted in a formal and disciplined manner and that
communication systems are properly used. Formality in communication is especially
important when personnel safety is involved or complex evolutions are performed.
Just as there are different messages to be communicated, there are different methods of
audible communication (e.g., face-to-face, party-line, point-to-point, and public address
announcements). Each method requires the use of specific techniques to effectively
communicate the necessary information. This guide presents communication techniques
that have proved successful in the commercial industry, government, and the military.