Understanding and supporting change in industries within a defined management framework remains crucial. The role played by OSH as a preventive agent remains an important part. Management of change as a philosophy has donned several different roles within strategy and now businesses.
Digital platforms are enabling this with the surety of universal access along with the assurance via watchful EHS supervision. Modern change management apps and solutions encompass the following elements within its workflow:
- Process safety documents
- SOPs (digital and paper based)
- Pre & post-implementation scenarios
- Risk management
- Standardized workflows enabling change
Change management remains central to industries like pharmaceutical, chemical and agrochemicals (biotechnology). Their driving force, i.e. R&D supporting multitudinous pipelines that are churning potential products consistently, makes them a prime candidate. From the risk management point-of-view: increased risks brought on by potentially hazardous nature of chemicals and biochemicals, makes digital change management a top priority.
However, interdisciplinary process safety and asset performance management trends need more than just ‘how’ the change is introduced. They require a smoother transition via a systematic information management and reinforced learning.
The role of animation in micro-learning
Animation which is often used in industries for SOPs and inductions can become a putative strategic tool in change management. While there are obvious reasons for developing digital SOPs via the animation route, we think they should be used for a wider audience with preventive goals as focus. This means using animation based movies or mock walkthroughs for the workforce. In a sort of “ushering a new member” scenario (machine or other mechanized asset), the workforce gets a taste (via animation) of its overall effects on the work area. This is especially necessary for chemical and related industries as we mentioned earlier. Cross-domain expertise and multiple process management ‘switchovers’ occur frequently in such environments, enabling the kind of product diversity we see from these industries. A digital ‘change management’ platform which warms up the workforce via small animation clips (supporting automation and its safe work procedures) can be welcoming.
It might seem slightly low on the ‘effort versus output’ equation, but from the perspective of developing affirmative preventive safety actions, this very approach can act as the primary risk barrier. Even before the first animation SOP of machine-asset operation has aired, its general awareness and workings are known to workforce, thereby, enabling change management by virtue of familiarity and acceptance.
Methodical keeper of preventive OHS
Referring to modern operations as asset-machine-workforce relationship is key to bringing about change at factories and plants. Animation offers the prospect of providing a virtual workspace which can trigger micro-learning(s) on a demonstrable scale. Hazardous workers need to undergo a lot of trainings and re-certifications on day-to-day basis. Handling superior but risky chemicals, biological agents and field testing constantly poses some of the greatest safety challenges.
The approach using Animation video of introducing and extending such ‘changes’ may result in granular positive gains to the overall OSH quotient. Despite of ‘clinical’ first-line protection mechanisms (like PPEs) – lackadaisical or bad practices can still creep within day-to-day operations. Animation clips supporting change management makes a positive case that has the potential to buckle such trends.
Dynamic and productivity oriented workplaces require all the support that they can get to establish a clear risk management strategy. Blending the traditionally independent forms of such tools remains an opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked.