Finding New Insight Through Old Tools

September 18, 2014

Hidden just below the surface of the conferences and trade shows that we attend, is a fountain of information packaged in creative ways that allow us to view the information in a new light. One such example is a simple tool that we picked up while attending the 30th Annual VPPPA National Conference this year in National Harbor, MD.  A simple two-sided data wheel measuring less than nine inches in diameter (that someone handed to us while walking through the vendor area), provided easy access to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Safety and Health Data by state, regarding fatal injuries, fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, non-fatal injuries and illnesses (private industry), non-fatal injuries and illnesses (state & local government), non-fatal injuries and illnesses per 100 workers (private industry), non-fatal injuries and illnesses per 100 workers (state & local government), injuries and illnesses with days away from work, median days away from work, and the occupation with the highest number of cases.The simple cardboard tool allowed us to compare at a glance each state’s statistics with the Unites States national average in each of the above referenced categories.

It was easier and more polite to accept the information wheel when it was handed to us, so we did and tossed it into our bag of goodies that we collected from the more than two hundred and twenty-five vendors exhibiting at the conference.  When we returned from the conference the data wheel landed on a lunch table for employees to view. 

What we all failed to realize at the time that we accepted the cardboard tool (a seemingly outdated, low-tech method of conveying information) was the number of quality conversations that would arise as employees picked it up to see what it was and how it worked.  Employees viewed the statistics of our home state, Pennsylvania, along with other states where they have family and friends, to see how each ranked up against the national statistics presented.  They seemed most interested in the number of fatal injuries, fatal injuries per 100,000 workers and the occupation with the highest number of cases.  They explored to find the state with the highest percentage of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers and were frequently surprised with the answers that the wheel provided. 

Through this simple, cardboard tool, we gained heightened employee safety awareness… and perhaps a reminder that greater insight is not the exclusive territory of new technology (the stuff we do); but can also be found through the simple, creative use and presentation of existing information.

Inteli-Safety Team

The Intelivert Inteli-Safety Team consists of seasoned safety professionals, business process experts, compliance specialists and market analysts who strive to provide valuable content to keep our clients and our readers informed. Our blog content focuses on safety, regulatory and compliance trends, technology and other current events.

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