OSHA website mentions an incident of July 31, 2018, where an employee was in a hopper welding in a new liner, using a welding machine. While the machine was still energized, he decided to take a break. He removed his gloves, welding helmet, and proceeded to climb out of the hopper. To get out, he placed one hand on the lip of the hopper and another on the top of the welder, he was electrocuted and died on the spot.
Even though he followed the safety precautions (PPE), his unsafe behaviour and inadequate safety know-how costed him his life. In industries where hazards prevail, better understanding of the complete industrial processes or tasks stand imperative. Tools such as animation, if used to create safety awareness, act as refresher trainings for workers performing repetitive tasks – the impact generated averts them from wrongdoings.
Metal processing, smelting and refining industries are laden with inordinate risks and hazards – from ore extraction to producing metals, refining them and giving them a desired shape. Basic metal processing techniques include –
- Smelting and refining of metal ores
- Casting molten metals in a given shape (foundry)
- Hammering or pressing metals in shape of a die (hot or cold forging)
- Welding and cutting sheet metal
- Compressing and heating materials in a powder form that has one or more metals (sintering)
- Shaping metals on a lathe
Animated walkthrough (of a task or a process) helps industrial trainers illustrate real and complex concepts and processes of the metal industry in its simplest form, where they can further provide insights to the learners effortlessly.
To understand this industry’s processes, its risks and hazards, a gist is given below:
Smelting and refining industry has a higher rate of injuries – injury sources consists of collisions with moving locomotives, wagons, travelling cranes and other mobile equipment, falls of heavy objects and falls from heights (while accessing a crane cab), and slips and trips injuries from obstruction of floors and passageways.
During tapping of molten metal or slag, gas explosions and explosions from contact of molten metal with water can result in devastating consequences. Spills and eruptions of hot metal from ladles or vessels during processing, teeming or transporting result in burns, heat stress, injuries and electrocution. Such risks are prevalent at various points in the metal making, refining and casting processes. High noise levels from crushing and grinding ore, gas discharge blowers and high-power electric furnaces can result in hearing disabilities.
Chemical and acid cleaning (pickling) of metals exposes workers to acid mists that can cause skin, eye and respiration irritation.
Animation effectively assimilates these crucial tasks and processes (along with their risks) and delivers them with easy-to-grasp visuals and voiceovers. Along with the written SOPs, these videos act as reference points for the workers, where a clear, crisp visual depiction of ‘what to do’, ‘how to do’ and ‘what not to do’ imparts information in its real sense.
If safety is not emphasized much, incidents are bound to happen. That ultimately destroys industrial assets, risks lives, creates uneasiness in working conditions and hampers an organization’s image. Using animation to stress and improve recall value of the workers ingrains safe attitudes towards work and minimizes the risks of industrial accidents.
A safety veteran that has a team of qualified animation experts can support industries to pave the way for proactive learning within their vicinity. It arrives as just-in-time learnings for the workers and complements other training techniques.