How to communicate with everyone on your sites with Briefings

August 1, 2022

How to communicate on your sites with Briefings | The SignOnSite Blog

Getting a message to a workforce across a working construction normally means rounding everyone up for a chat, or putting up a message on the noticeboard. This isn’t too bad when it's a planned toolbox talk, but not when a new safety risk suddenly appears. 

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Worker App - Briefings - 003- briefing with map

Our Briefings feature provides a method to instantly communicate new risks, and also improves Toolbox Talks and other standard site communications processes by:

  • Immediately notifying people on site of a new communication;
  • Providing rich, detailed visual information inside the communication with image, video and PDF attachments;
  • Asking for an acknowledgement from the workers so that Site Managers and Supervisors know who has read them, and have an audit trail;

It's an effective method, too – in a sample of almost 50,000 workers, we found that 80% will actively engage in communications and acknowledge briefings. It works across different sectors and environments as well. These are the results our leading customers in each sector are getting: 

  • Fit-out: 85% of workers actively engaged in communication
  • Commercial: 98%
  • Energy: 87%
  • Civil: 92%
  • Residential: 90%

The communication challenges on a site


Workers on construction sites are generally expected to arrive at the shed prior to tool time, with the site manager verbally communicating the updates for that day. Afterwards, workers may sign the Briefing, usually in the form of a piece of paper, to confirm they understand what has been discussed.

This process is quite inflexible; everyone needs to be in the same place at the same time. If there is a worker who was late or unable to attend, the site manager would then need to repeat the process. The result is significant delays, time wastage and higher safety risks, particularly if the worker misses critical safety information.

It is also challenging to accurately and efficiently capture briefing attendance information. Therefore, if a safety incident does occur, it becomes difficult to verify the worker’s briefing attendance (and whether they understood the briefing). As a result, the contractor could become liable.

Paper record keeping is time-consuming and costly in terms of storage and transportation - and also leaves no audit trail. If you are audited by WorkSafe or SiteSafe, it then becomes difficult to demonstrate that you had a compliant briefing process.

A real story from a site

Lisa Dart, a Systems Manager from Project Coordination used a combination of SignOnSite’s data and the First Aid Register to analyse why injuries were increasing. 

Lisa discovered that hand injuries were more frequent at the start of a project, when steel reinforcement was being laid. It was important for Lisa to put safety measures in place that would prevent this type of injury. 

She used SignOnSite’s Briefing Tool to remind all workers to wear the appropriate gloves and PPE when performing reinforcement work. Later, Lisa did a comparison and found that the injury frequency rates decreased. 

Lisa communicated this information to the wider construction industry and helped other companies decrease their injury frequency rates.

How the solution works

As a worker or visitor

When a Worker or Visitor arrives on site and signs onto the site, they are immediately notified of the day’s Briefing.

The Site Document screen alerting the user to an Unread Briefing

The Site Document screen alerting the user to an Unread Briefing

When they click on the briefing, they can read the full communication, which can include text, images, videos or even PDFs.

The contents of the Daily Briefing

The contents of the Daily Briefing

They can then click to acknowledge the briefing, updating its status (which is visible to Management in the Web Management Portal).

Worker App - Briefings - 002 - acknowledged briefing

The user's Site Documents screen showing no outstanding Briefings to be read and acknowledged

As a Site Manager or Supervisor

Sending communications to the workforce

Briefings are created through a simple interface in the Site Management Web Portal. These can even be scheduled in advance. New communications can be sent on-the-fly by updating the Daily Briefing. Once you have updated a briefing, you can notify your workers that an update has been made, which helps ensure they acknowledge the briefing change.

Web App - Briefings - 001 - Schedule a briefing

Managers and Supervisors create Briefings through the Web Portal

Checking that people have read the communications

Site Managers, Safety Managers and Supervisors can see engagement and acknowledgement of Briefings in real-time in the Site Management Web Portal. The Attendance register shows everyone on site, and their engagement with the processes powered by SignOnSite, including Briefings - it's all there at a glance.

Web App - Briefings - 002 - Acknowledged List

Real-time site data showing worker's Briefing acknowledgement and compliance

More comprehensive data can be retrieved through the Briefings Log, as well as the downloadable reports.

Comprehensive historical reporting on Briefings acknowledgement by the workforce

Comprehensive historical reporting on Briefings acknowledgement by the workforce

Reminding people to check their Daily Briefing

If a worker is yet to acknowledge a briefing, you can send a push notification directly to their mobile phone. It's a quick and easy way to give the laggards a last reminder before speaking to them in person.  

Want to see how you can run better site comms at your company?

Tell us your site communication challenges (or any other site management, operations or safety challenges), and we'll show you how we've solved them on hundreds of construction sites in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and around the world.


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