Message maps for safety barrier awareness

Kirsten Jørgensen, Nijs Jan Duijm, Hanne Troen

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    All people are exposed to risks in everyday life, but they seldom experience accidents. Therefore, people often believe that these accidents will never happen, and they do not see the risks. By increasing the ability to notice risks, to see safety barriers, and to assess the safety barriers’ performance parameters continuously, it is possible to create better risk awareness on the part of employers, managers and employees. Better risk awareness by these stakeholders will make it possible to: • acknowledge and continuously control risks; • discover and manage new risks; • keep safety barriers intact; • replace safety barriers with others, if necessary; • monitor and maintain the quality of safety barriers. This will contribute to maintain a high level of safety and prevent accidents. Some pro-active accident prevention can be obtained by making people aware of the risks in a given situation, time, or place, and by enabling them to observe and judge whether the relevant safety barriers are in place and in good order. This can be considered “Situational Awareness” (SA), which is an essential competence enabling an employee to perform his/her job safely. This SA entails a number of requirements for people, work conditions, management, learning, knowledge, experience, motivation etc. The Dutch WORM and RAM projects led to the identification of 64 types of risks and the safety barriers and performance factors linked to these risks. The Danish DanWORM project has transferred this knowledge into two sets of 17 “INFO-cards” or message maps, to be used by the employer and the employee, respectively. Such an INFO-card is developed for a specific group of risks and contains: • What needs to be observed, what safety barriers are in place; • What needs to be assessed, the performance parameters; • What requires action, depending on the deficiencies that have been found. Keywords:
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSafety Science Monitor
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)Article 4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Risk assessment
    • Accident prevention
    • Occupational safety
    • Message maps
    • Risk awareness


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