The basic concept of a visual workplace is putting up graphical and illustrative detailing of progress, process or department workflow. According to studies, the visual representation helps employees to understand, retain and reciprocate information more effectively within a short time. Do you want to implement a visual factory within your premises? Especially, when you are handling heavy equipment and large machinery, the caution booklet will run for pages. You cannot expect every floor worker to be well versed in English to learn those warning instructions. This can be easily rectified with a visual factory.
Visual cues everywhere
You need to pay heed to the safety signs. Whenever your worker steps into a workspace, there should be cues about how to do certain things, what not to do and so on. These visual cues should not be hard to find. Starting from labels on containers to color codes to indicate dangerous equipment, you should cover as much visual information as possible with your cue.
Where should you implement these cues?
- Walls – Wall safety signs and safety posters about each equipment, caution details and even safety information like ‘wear helmet’ would be effective.
- Floor – floor markings will help your workers to have excellent communication. For instance, use a blue line for workers moving from equipment A to B to C and so on. Use when a red line for workers moving from equipment C to B to A. This will reduce collision, especially when your workers have heavy objects in their hands. If you want workers to stay away from equipment when it is in use, floor markings would be a good solution.
- Machines – Do not worry about sticking stickers on your million-dollar equipment. It is for over-all productivity. Should your employee close the lid of your food processing machine before switching it on to avoid spillage? Stick a sticker near the switch reminding them to close the lid. Thus, whenever your worker moves towards the switch, the sticker will act as a reminder.
- Ceilings – The visual cues in ceilings are usually for pipe and wire markings. In the case of any hanging equipment, you can use it to indicate the maximum load to add.
Update visual cues
There are two reasons to update visual cues regularly. Your factory environment can fade out the informative boards. Just a yellow circle on the wall would not mean anything if the writing or the symbol on it has faded away. The second reason is human perception. If a visual cue has been in a single position for quite a long time, the human brain tends to overlook it. It is quite similar to the concept of people who live near the beach will adapt themselves to not hear the wave sound. Updating cues and using new stickers would induce their brain to pay more attention.
Say, you have a blue line and a red line on the floor. What is the point of those markings if your employee is not aware of what each color stands for? Always educate them about the cues. There is nothing wrong with having a periodic seminar or workplace training to refresh their memory. Every new employee should be trained about every single visual cue in the factory; even those which are not in his area of work.