Have you been wondering what those square, pixellated codes are that are creeping onto brochures, advertisements and business cards... and even on the side of trucks? (oh, we have placed one on this page too!) They are called QR codes (Quick Response). Maybe you find them annoying because the very few of them you have tried out on your phone have simply led you to a website for marketing reasons. Well, they were meant for much more than this!
QR codes were originally developed for use in the Japanese automotive industry. However, with the universal adoption of mobile phones, their application has expanded dramatically. Jacqui Broadhurst, founder and creative coach at CodeSafe will tell you that, "QR codes are very useful for a multitude of applications. Research shows that using them to market your website is really not an effective use of this technology."
CodeSafe has developed a Visual Communication Platform that utilises the best aspects of QR codes, eliminates the main downsides, and uses them to improve workplace engagement in training and procedure communication. Their main aim is to reduce accidents and improve productivity.
Not all QR codes are safe
To the casual user, QR codes would seem innocent. But the codes can be generated, free of charge, from a myriad of unpoliced websites. This creates the potential of unscrupulous messages being embedded into QR codes being a real risk to manage. This malicious practice is known as "attagging". It means that the reader's permissions on a smartphone could be compromised allowing access to private information and unauthorised use of the phone's functions. CodeSafe's digital platform enables organisations to produce QR codes that are safe, eliminating the possibility of attagging.
Want a safer workplace? Try CodeSafe
WHS is critical to the wellbeing of millions of workers in the manufacturing, engineering and construction industries. But engagement levels in traditional paperwork and lecture-based training models, means that workers are often not fully aware of processes and procedures. CodeSafe has recognised that workers often learn better by watching and doing rather than by reading. So they have developed a system that uses QR codes to deliver visual instructions on demand to workers in the field.
CodeSafe Media enables workers to design and capture footage of their own procedures, developing a real engagement with the viewer. Integral to this engagement approach is the recognition that by treating workers with respect and providing them with input into decisions affecting their attitude to WHS, it has an important motivational effect and encourages other workers to become more active participants in the WHS process.
Combining safer codes with safer work
By providing key information to workers through visual support where and when they need it most, CodeSafe lessens the risk of injury. By reducing the chance of misinterpreting the written word and also overcoming language and literacy barriers, they improve productivity.
CodeSafe delivers a systematic process for:
|engaging workers in producing and recording training sessions to visually represent their procedures|
|Capturing the experience that only the people doing the task can know intimately and|
|using QR code technology to make this knowledge quickly and easily available to other workers.|
By attaching the QR code sticker in a strategic location, training and instruction refreshers are then available to any worker with a smartphone, where and when they need it. Jacqui says, "We call it 'right here, right now' visual communication."
Awards and recognition
CodeSafe was originally trialled whilst involved in a project with the Water Resources Alliance (a Melbourne Water Project Alliance). The WRA went on to win the Australian Water Associations 2013 Water Industry Excellence Award for implementing the CodeSafe initiative on that project. CodeSafe is now one of eight finalists in the 2013 Victorian WorkSafe Awards. Furthermore they have been announced as the winner of an international pipeline industry award along with their client, NACAP Australia. Following all this national and international interest, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) recently announced that it is partnering with CodeSafe in a bid for research funding to validate this innovative system.
Saward Dawson and CodeSafe
Saward Dawson has been working with Jacqui and CodeSafe for some time to restructure their family affairs and that of the business. The structures that they now have in place will meet their current business requirements as well as being flexible enough to accommodate the expected growth.
We are also helping CodeSafe in a number of different projects in our role as "Acting CFO". These include advice on service pricing, risk management and cash flow planning. It is a very exciting time for CodeSafe and we are working with them to create comprehensive budget and cash flow projections.
Jacqui, having seen the CodeSafe system used by many clients to improve safety around potentially dangerous industries, is enthusiastic. "As part of our process, we consult with employees to connect their experience and build a strong safety culture; then we use QR Code technology to deliver visual support to employees when they need it, bridging communication gaps. By scanning a CodeSafe QR code employees can view safety, environment and quality communication messages in an interactive way. In addition, every employer can now monitor engagement in the CodeSafe analytical reports generated automatically by the platform."
Learn more about how the CodeSafe system works at www.codesafe.com.au.