Making SOPs a safety tool via safety animation

Many times, when a safety expert dives deeper into the root causes of incident investigation, he/she cites ‘human error’ as a root or contributory cause.

Even though a verbal emphasis on the use of operating procedures is given by the EHS professionals in an industrial workplace, still such errors exist. But usually they are usually in the form of ‘Make sure you follow safety procedures.’ In work realities, some safety experts themselves lack the required guidance needed towards safety excellence.

Even airline pilots use pre-take-off checklists consistently – that the steps they undertake are the same every time is worth-mentioning.  One main reason is their leaders as well as the workers embrace procedure usage as the only way to ensure performance liability. No procedural drift occurs because SOPs are valued and consistently drilled and practiced.

Yes, in an airline business, safety matters the most, as many lives are at stake. Same might or might not be the case in an industrial environment – quality, safety and precision are some factors that require following of SOPs diligently. Their importance might not be communicated well or grasped by the workforce. This might lead to workers being complacent in executing some of their crucial tasks.

Building a competent workforce

Safety animation can arrive to the rescue where action emphasis to the workers becomes necessary – animated videos can explain procedures with ease with their visual design, format and real-time clarity. This delivers value when there are exhaustive documents and large manuals for understandings, with insufficient search capabilities.

It becomes easy to demonstrate to the workers that the organization has established this required safety control system and it is a must to follow them.

Animated videos are the active safety tools that influence workers to follow compliance in each and every activity.

Neuroscience research has confirmed that human memory that relies on storage and retrieval mechanisms is complex and frequently unreliable. Most of them require simple and easy-to-understand approaches to give better and productive results. And they concluded that a simple five-step approach that explains the correct process of following hygiene shows a better performance in work instead of relying on a document for correct work procedures.

Safety animation is that tool that can help EHS professionals with their work activities – especially in times of COVID-19 where masks and sanitizers are a part of every routine work activity. Yes, this is an SOP which has instantly taken roots in the industrial working areas – so their proper practice becomes necessary for a safe working environment.

Putting SOPs into practice

Animated videos for SOPs can be a critical and valuable tool for communicating the safe and correct way to execute work tasks. Reason, how SOPs are designed, written, accessed and practiced literally can make a huge difference.

As EHS leaders, one should ask – Does the information facilitate easy visual access to critical information? Do they clearly call out for action for an employee to perform a task reliably? And what is the forcing mechanism that ensures that critical steps are not overlooked?

Leveraging animation for SOPs can create a great shift in the employee perspective – instead of perceiving them as boring, monotonous documents, they can actively involve in tasks with care, safety and precision.

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