Pilot Study Shows Visual Literacy Training Improves Hazard Recognition

“About 90 percent of the information people consume is visual,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute. “Taking in that much visual data can lead us to have inattentional blindness – only seeing what we deem important to see but being blind to many other details, like potential hazards. That’s why training workers to better see where those hazards might exist is crucial to workplace health and safety.”

The National Safety Council’s Campbell Institute has released the findings of a pilot study showing that employees who are trained on the concept of visual literacy are able to see workplace hazards that might have otherwise been unnoticed.

In A Second Look: Update on Visual Literacy, the Campbell Institute covers some companies that have trained employees in principles of visual literacy. Within three months, according to the study, 132 issues were identified and 25 new workplace hazards were corrected.

“About 90 percent of the information people consume is visual,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute. “Taking in that much visual data can lead us to have inattentional blindness – only seeing what we deem important to see but being blind to many other details, like potential hazards. That’s why training workers to better see where those hazards might exist is crucial to workplace health and safety.”

According to the report, workers who have been trained in visual literacy have identified new kinds of hazards by using the elements and process of visual literacy, leading to improvements and fixes in their workplaces. There also seems to be an increase in the amount of proactive hazard and near-miss reports after workers have received visual literacy training. Workers also show a heightened risk perception and lower risk tolerance, the study reports.

The Institute partnered with the Center of Visual Expertise (COVE) to provide the train-the-trainer workshops for institute members in the pilot study. The Institute and COVE researchers hope to receive more data on Job Safety Analysis from all the sites in the project to test their hypothesis that visual literacy for hazard recognition can result in better quality job safety analyses.

A copy of the report, A Second Look: Update on Visual Literacy, can be downloaded here.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • EHS Management Software Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2021

    March 2021

    Featuring:

    • EMPLOYEE TESTING
      The Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Testing
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Building a Comprehensive Floor Safety Strategy
    • GAS DETECTION
      Gas Hazards and the COVID-19 Vaccine
    View This Issue