“The eyes are the window to the soul.” We’ve all heard this quote, but did you know that the eyes can also be the window to workplace safety? An article in EHS Today introduces a new eye tracking technology that companies can use to watch worker habits and actions in order to evaluate and improve workplace safety and employee training.
Sandy Smith writes about a company called H&H Casting, a metal foundry, which hired consultants from Tobii Pro Insight in order to perform an eye tracking study on their employees. The study was conducted on workers in the area where the molten metal is poured into ladles. Working with molten metal is extremely dangerous and needs massive amounts of concentration. The employees were asked to wear special eye tracking glasses for anywhere from 15-30 minutes while performing their everyday tasks. These glasses are worn just like normal safety glasses but have a special camera that can track eye movement and relay the video back to a specialist.
The results of the study were significant! The glasses proved to be non-obtrusive, allowing the employees to really show what is needed in their specific lines of work. They were able to track the amount of concentration required as well as small things that happen before each action is taken on the floor. The glasses gave the company a way to observe processes that would be very hard to take a look at without stopping the entire melting and pouring procedure and shutting the line down. H&H Casting plans on using this study to take a look at their safety procedures, improve the way their workplace runs, and figuring out how to best train new employees.
While technology and studies like this may not be feasible for all companies to perform, what a great tool to be able to aim for! A study could be done for each job in a manufacturing facility and ways to change safety and training can be accessed from a personal view instead of from someone just observing.
Smith, Sandy. “New Eye Tracking Research Tackles Safety and Performance in Manufacturing.” www.ehstoday.com November 16, 2017. December 8, 2017.