Safety Visuals: Minor Changes, Big Returns


Chances are, you already have an existing safety program for your workplace and it’s working great for you. However, you might have that nagging feeling at the back of you mind that it could be better. That’s good, it’s the sign of a well-run facility. After all, improvements in safety protocols should be a lifelong goal for any organization.

Sadly, it is usually at this point that most ideas of improvement are halted. Pushing for these changes can be difficult and adoption can be a struggle. What if we told you that there is one change you can make that can simultaneously improve the safety, efficiency, and productivity of your workers without the usual problems?

What we’re referring to is moving to a visual workplace, a concept you may have encountered in the 5s system. Now, we’re not going to be talking about the entire 5s system, just a core element of that: safety visuals. Now if you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s fairly simple. Basically, having standardized images on signs, decals, and cards which act as cues, safety reminders to workers at their work areas, and even a way to promote better morale. This has many benefits as we will be discussing.

Keeps People Safe

One of the biggest impacts switching to safety visuals brings is the improvement in safety.  On a more basic level, it is easier for people to connect the images with their actions rather than simple text. Complex concepts are more easily translated thus allowing for better compliance with safety procedure.

Another great thing about implementing safety visuals is the fact that images are standardized. With proper training, workers can easily distinguish the different images, much faster than having to read instructions off a sign.  It also transcends language barriers making it much more useful when working with people for whom English or French is not their first language.

Lowers Waste

Using safety visuals as cues can have a very big effect on lowering waste in a company. The use of these items can be seen in various successful systems including 5s, Kanban, and more. Essentially, having easy to recognize signs and tags to indicate which stock needs to be replaced will prevent overstocking and over ordering parts from suppliers.

The standardization of images allows workers to identify what parts need to be ordered, how many, and when it needs to be in the workplace. All of that, done at a glance. No need for any writing unless there are special instructions for a particular batch. No misinterpreted instructions, just a smooth flow of information.

It is not hard to see how the aforementioned benefits mentioned improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Speed, safety, and productivity are all enhanced by the simple addition of safety visuals in one’s work environment.

Improve Morale:

When workers do something good, it is important to tell them so. This positive reinforcement not only helps in driving a culture of safety in your workplace, it also keeps your employees working at their best (low morale=low productivity).

To further drive home the point that your company takes safety seriously, you can augment your signs and posts with a variety of hard hat decals, banners, floor labels and more. These little reminders placed around the office can help remind your workforce that they are in an environment where their safety is of the utmost importance.

Now, the next question would be, how do you get everything you need to set it up?

Well, you could browse through countless webpages and cherry pick from hundreds or even thousands of choices online, or you could make a quick call to Seton Canada. All you need is to provide us your theme, the number of employees you have, and any special instructions and we’ll remove all the guesswork and sorting. We’ll give you a custom program specifically tailored for your needs.

When it comes to safety, there is no room for excuses. Excuses won’t cause an accident to just not happen. Affirmative action and a well made safety plan will protect you from the worst of the possible dangers in the workplace. So start planning, make that call, and turn your facility into a safer place today.

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