Technology hasn’t always played a significant role in communicating workplace health and safety. 40 years ago businesses relied on distributing bland safety manuals and lengthy written procedures, which did little to engage the workforce. Early safety videos often featured slapstick style humour and failed to communicate the seriousness of safety. And “death by PowerPoint” was considered standard practice for safety training.
Thankfully digital technology and our approach to safety have come a long way since then, along with our ability to communicate and engage our workforce more effectively.
The role of technology in safety training
Today, growing evidence supports the effectiveness of technology as a safety communication tool. According to EY it is “both a promoter and an enabler of positive WHS performance”.
From mobile devices like iPads and smart phones through to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), technology has the power to transform how we share safety messages, engage and educate our workforce and keep our people safe.
In recognising the impact that technology can have on safety communication, Coates Hire is increasingly bringing visual and interactive technologies into its OHS training. One example is our transport safety e-learning modules, which now incorporate interactive 3D imagery and make it easier for people to visualise and identify workplace hazards.
Adam Welch, Group Manager for Transport Logistics at Coates Hire believes innovative applications like VR and AR also present exciting opportunities for engaging safety training. “We haven’t invested in anything like this just yet, but we do keep a close eye on technologies that can add value to this vital area of our business.”
Digital technology brings safety communication to life for the construction industry, in a variety of ways:
Enhancing risk assessments
VR, AR and 3D visualisation technologies can deliver powerful learning and communication opportunities:
Digital technologies are proving to be a valuable tool for reaching these and other important segments of the construction workforce. By taking the emphasis away from “written and verbal” and placing it on “experience”, technology can remove these barriers and help to deliver safety information in more interactive and engaging ways.
Have you embraced technology for workplace safety communication? How is technology improving safety outcomes for your business? Please share your thoughts and feedback via LinkedIn.
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