Can You Improve Your Technical Writing by Creating an Office Safety Manual?
Whether you’re just starting a new company, have invested in a new piece of equipment, or have to adapt to new regulatory standards, eventually you’ll likely be faced with the task of writing an office safety manual.
We know that this kind of technical writing can be a serious challenge.
But the truth is, it often isn’t as difficult as you might think.
So, how can you strike the perfect balance between a technical and personal tone, and how can you learn about the safety topics you need to cover?
Keep on reading this post to find out.
Technical Writing Tips
We know that it can sometimes be tough to learn how to break down complicated safety topics for office workers in plain English.
Let’s talk about how you can make that happen when you’re writing your own safety manual.
Above all, remember to keep it simple, and look for opportunities to have fun!
Start with a Story
Let’s face it: technical writing can get boring pretty quickly if you don’t approach it in the right way.
Instead of throwing a bunch of complicated terms and regulations at your reader?
Why not start every topic by telling a simple story?
You can write about a fictional accident that happened at a workplace. Then, you can begin to discuss the ways in which it could have been prevented. You can also write about the consequences of an accident.
Make it personal, keep your tone casual, and try to use language that is as simple as is possible.
You’ll have a much easier time mastering technical writing if you focus on creating several smaller chapters and subchapters, as opposed to covering everything about a topic in one place.
For example, let’s say you want to write about workplace fires.
Break up the chapter into smaller sections.
These sections can include things like how often to change a smoke detector battery, how to test a smoke detector, the signs of a fire, and how to create an exit plan for your team. It can also include information on how to properly conduct a fire drill.
Use Illustrations When You Can
Finally, especially when you’re covering more technical topics, we’re certain that relying on illustrations and diagrams will make things clearer for everyone.
Whenever possible, you can also include graphics that condense the most important information into a more visible sidebar.
You can use graphics to talk about specific parts of a machine, parts of a body, and much more. You can also include resources and links to videos that offer more visual aid regarding the concepts you’re trying to explain.
Get Certification Training
Another awesome way to make certain you’re creating the right kinds of workplace safety messages for your manual?
We strongly suggest that you get some sort of safety certification.
First of all, depending on the country or state in which you live, this type of certification may be required in order for you to write a manual on office safety.
But even if it’s not, it’s still a smart idea to have it.
You’ll learn the more technical side of safety topics, like dangerous chemical interactions, how to operate a forklift, and more. There are even specific certifications that are geared towards the safety needs of different industries.
You can learn more here about how to get WHMIS safety training certification in Canada.
Office Safety Tips to Include in Your Manual
Now that we’ve talked about a few of the ways you can improve your technical writing skills, let’s briefly cover some of the office safety topics you might want to include in your manual.
You should cover how to prevent slip and fall accidents, which not only cause serious injuries in the workplace, but also lead to costly worker’s compensation payouts for employers.
For example, you could include a chapter that talks about the importance of eliminating clutter, installing the proper flooring and convex mirrors, and more.
Create a chapter on how to create an emergency preparedness plan for your whole team.
For example, if there is a fire, who is in charge of making sure everyone is out of your office? Who is in charge of dialing 911? Which of your team members will grab any important documents? Which exit path should your team members take?
Another aspect of office safety is, of course, to discuss how to properly use equipment.
What are the rules of use, the supervision required to use an object, and the procedures for turning equipment off and on every day?
Finally, also consider talking about ergonomic and physical health and safety.
Draw up a chapter on the importance of taking breaks from a screen, of standing up and taking walks throughout the day, and of eating healthy lunches and snacks.
Master Writing Your Office Safety Manual with These Tips
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to write an office safety manual while improving your technical writing skills in the process.
It’s important to remember to break down complicated topics as simply as you can. You can do this by creating personas and through storytelling.
Also, consider getting some form of safety certification, so you know the office safety topics to include.
Looking for more advice on how to write the perfect content?
Be sure to check out our website to learn more about how to keep your content effective, on-brand, and of course, well-written.