Millions of injuries and thousands of deaths occur in the workplace every year, costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars. And some experts believe that visual literacy training in the workplace can significantly help bring those numbers down.
According to the Campbell Institute, visual literacy is the ability to “‘read’ or decode visual information,” as well as the ability to “write or create visuals to convey information.”
Here are four things that you should know about visual literacy for your workplace training.
1. It’s Critical for Workplace Safety
Multiple studies show that visual training in the workplace reduces potential workplace hazards and ensures that employees are better equipped to identify real-life hazard issues and serious safety concerns while they’re on the job.
What’s more, experts uncovered the fact that 90% of the information that people consume is visual and can cause “inattentional blindness” toward potential hazards and safety concerns inside the workplace. So, it’s critical that employees are coached in seeing and visually identifying potential hazards and safety risks in their everyday environments.
2. It Entails 5 Essential Elements of Art
Visual literacy training in the workplace requires employees to learn about five essential elements of art, so that they can accurately describe, interpret, and convey information visually.
3. It Must Be Interactive and Hands-On
Visual literacy inside the workplace must also be interactive and hands-on. Otherwise, it may not prove very useful. For example, employee learners should be asked to look at and then identify hazards and safety concerns in images and videos, as well as in their everyday real-life work environments. And employers should host in-person and live training sessions where employees are asked to actively identify hazards and safety risks.
4. It Needs a Well-Structured Framework When Implemented
It’s not enough to simply show employee learners images and videos while discussing fundamental elements of art that allow them to understand and convey what they are seeing.
Visual literacy training programs should also follow a well-structured framework. This framework must encourage employees to observe, interpret, analyze, and describe what they are seeing. And to question their own visual biases.
If you’re interested in implementing visual literacy training at your own organization—as a continuation of its safety training program—be sure to keep the four things outlined above in mind.