Is it time to think outside the box?

Is it time to think outside the box?


Safety is an important part of any industry and the mostly likely, and traditional, way of teaching safety is though formal documents, many that can be long and complicated.

A major driver for WorkSafe Connect is how to support our clients with a range of training, services and innovations across a client’s training platform which will improve overall compliance, safety and training outcomes.

On this front WorkSafe Connect has been looking closely at how video can play a part in positive training outcomes. Helen Lingard, a Construction Occupational Health and Safety Professor at RMIT University, conducted research in this area which has recently been reported on the The Conversation website - “Construction workers safer when the ditch the manual”.

In the article, Lingard outlines that the formal teaching approach can be hard for members in the construction industry as the can have literacy levels that are relatively low compared to other industries.

The research conducted suggests that workers may not read formal documents before they commence on a site and considering how complex the documents can be, it is hard to cover all eventualities. What was evident based on the work completed was the gap between what is written and what is practiced.

In the modern age it is now accepted that videos are an important communication tool. However, Lingard outlines that in general videos are produced by media companies and are used as stand-alone presentations, normally with the worker as a passive audience. Likewise, while construction companies are legally required to consult workers, many times it was from the top-down method, as opposed to direct interaction with the team doing the work.

In this instance, by mixing the importance of visual and video communication tools with basic media training workers were able to share their tips and knowledge in a way that is meaningful to them, as they are the target audience.

By applying this method, both managers and workers described how watching the footage helped to give them a different perspective and helped them to understand work in a different way. Further, the workers described how the videos were a powerful in sharing “know how” rather than “know what”.

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