How Visual Literacy Can Improve Hazard Recognition, Enhance Risk Assessment and Prevent Complacency – Filling a Critical Gap in Your Safety Program.
Every safety manager will tell you that there are some perennial problems in ensuring that a robust safety program remains effective. These problems range from the tendency for bad habits and shortcuts to become the norm to the creeping tendency we all have to normalize what we expect to be there. Thus, failing to see hazards and the challenge of keeping every single employee (from boardroom to shop floor) actively engaged in safety critical activities. Safety programs require active engagement – a persistent desire to see, observe and assess hazards, understand how workplace risks change over time, and to undertake and communicate mitigating corrective actions. As a profession, we are in constant pursuit of new and innovative ways to further improve our safety program and ensure ongoing employee engagement.
At COVE: Center of Visual Expertise our work over recent years has allowed us to study how a workers ‘visual acuity’ – that is, their ability to see and observe hazards effectively – can impact on those critical elements of your safety program. This work has demonstrated a significant opportunity to leverage known and proven techniques in Visual Literacy to deliver measurable improvements in safety program performance.
If you are seeking to improve employee engagement and build a stronger safety culture – or simply targeting specific improvement in elements of your safety program such as hazard recognition, pre-task risk assessments, Permit to Work or Incident Investigation – Visual Literacy applications from COVE provide a unique and proven new set of tools to deliver enhanced safety performance.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of these new tools is that they provide workers with a different way to look at the world of risk and safety. One that takes them beyond the workplace – into the world of art – and through applying skills to their own lives at home and on the road, they engage in something that is both memorable, effective and life enriching, not something we can always say about our safety training!