Case StudyOccupational Health and Safety

Safety and Emergency Communications

By October 30, 2008 No Comments

Carnegie Mellon University

The Challenge: A national research university was looking for a way to consolidate and clarify safety and emergency information for its labs. Though information was being distributed to various laboratories via paper notices, the message was getting lost among other memos and paperwork. Even when the information was visible, the language of the safety instructions was confusing and hard to follow. Safety team members needed an information system that was accessible and easy to understand.

The Graphics Lab Solution: Graphics Lab worked with the university’s safety team to condense lab safety and hazard information using clear language and easily recognizable pictograms. After the team selected the pictograms and developed step-by-step instructions, the information was inserted into the SignBookTM‚ and mounted to the laboratory walls with Velcro strips for easy access.

The Results: The SignBookTM solution has received positive feedback from lab personnel who see it as a valuable reference tool. The university is pleased with the clean, vibrant information display. Though the initial Velcro on the books had to be replaced with a stronger type, the system has worked well in the laboratory setting. It passed a mock EPA audit where it was noted that the SignBookTM‚ provided a unified look for the laboratory safety and hazard message. Signs cluttered around lab doors were not taken seriously by lab personnel. Theywere outdated andunreliable. A Sign Book was developed using CMU’s specific content for safety protocols. The Sign Book allows easy access to the protocols, always available hroughout the facility at eye level. The written content is clean and direct. The Sign Book mounts to the wall with Velcro for easy removal in case of emergency.

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