Kevin Ian Schmidt

Visual Workplace Safety Plan

Thank-you for attending my session for a visual workplace, I appreciate your time in listening to me and more importantly, I am pleased to know you have interest in learning more about the subject of creating a Visual Workplace Safety Plan.

Download the presentation here

Building A Visual Workplace Safety Plan

Below are some great resources for visual workplace planning:

Brady is constantly releasing handbooks and example sheets that can be referenced while building out a visual workplace safety plan.

Brady 5S Handbook – 2012

Brady 5S Visual Workplace Handbook – 2016


Thinking of conducting your own workplace 5S/Lean Audit? Here is the free download paper format 5S /Lean Audit I spoke of during the presentation

5S-Lean audit

This is a free ebook to help your setup a 5S plan for your workplace, including implementation and training guidance.

5S implementation plan and training guide

The free ebook below is a resource highlighting the importance of housekeeping as an integral part of the entire 5S process:

5S good housekeeping

Campbell Institute Visual Literacy Research Paper

Th EHS Center a resource center for safety professionals

Below are the tool safety sheet and tool classification matrix referenced during the presentation. Feel free to download these and build something like this out for your workplace:


Tool Safety Sheet – Example


Human beings are visual creatures. We are geared to perceive our environment through our primary sense: vision. You see, interpret and catalog enormous amounts of data through your sense of sight every day. A great deal of this is subconscious, but very real. Why not piggy-back onto this completely natural process to teach safety principles, transfer information on safety resources and keep safety in your employees’ daily thoughts?

Interested in discussing your needs for a visual workplace?

Interested in discussing your needs for a solid continuous improvement plan?

It’s important that you have someone in management that supports and promotes your awareness effort in meetings, in daily discussions and even in e-mails or letters. A simple safety comment at the end or somewhere within the subject makes everyone aware that safety is a priority with management. Every meeting, no matter how small or large, should include safety in some form.


How does this affect the bottom line? Safety pays for itself in reduced insurance rates, in fewer lost work days, and in increased production and reliability.

Reduced Insurance Rates

The average back injury in industry can run about $80,000. That’s not chump-change. Your insurance carrier quotes your rates based on your injury history and the risks inherent in your industry. The risks can be pretty much built into the process without some major re-engineering, but your injury history can be changed. Reduce the opportunities for injury and you reduce the incidence of injury. Once you start reducing those incidences through better knowledge and better methods, you can talk to your carrier about reduced rates.

Fewer Lost Work Days

This seems self-evident. If you reduce your opportunities for injury and you reduce the severity of those injuries, you reduce the days that must be lost. It can be something as simple as fewer days lost to slips, trips and falls or as complicated as fewer days lost because your folks knew the hazards associated with a chemical and avoided exposure. Fewer lost days mean better use of available labor, and that can mean less overtime hours or even reduce the need to hire additional people.

Increased Production

 A safe shop is a more productive shop. That sounds like an unsubstantiated cliché, but I have found it to be true. When you approach a job on the safety side, you get an added benefit of better planning for that job. Many times, we find that formatting the job to be safer also makes it more efficient as we do a better job of placing materials, supplying the correct tools and making the work easier for the employee.


A safe approach to a task can improve the quality of the result, and that means repairs are performed better, inspections are completed more thoroughly, and equipment operates longer between failures. Technicians that have the proper safety knowledge and equipment, lift properly, have better access to components and tools, and use the proper PPE also do a better job of torquing bolts, leveling or aligning components, and are also more apt to perform a thorough inspection. Safety habits promote a planned approach to the job, and that gets the job done better.