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safetySCAN

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Why safetySCAN?

Cognitive Edge’s safetySCAN makes it easy to quickly deploy an online tool for continuously gathering a large diversity of employee observations via computer or smartphone.  The continuous flow of employee reflections, experiences and observations provide a large sample of fragmented narratives that together reflect an organization’s safety culture. This has the following applications:

  • for safety consultants: it offers a baseline of narrative culture – along with the potential for monitoring future culture shifts
  • for internal safety professionals: it offers the opportunity to convert the many stories heard into mappable data points for analysis
  • for facilitators: it offers the ability to gather more narrative material ahead of workshop-based methods.

safetySCAN allows employees to quickly capture their observations in text, audio, or photo. For each observation, a safety culture-specific set of signifiers enables employees to quickly qualify the meaning of that specific moment. When this is deployed to a large sample of employees (either as a single diagnostic or as continuous monitoring or scanning), safetySCAN yields rich cultural maps that help guide a company or organization in its safety improvement programs. Like cultureSCAN, safetySCAN uses SenseMaker® – the only software licensed to use Cognitive Edge’s patented signification methods.

Safety Culture – what it’s like to work around here
All organizations deploy strategies to manage safety. Many current approaches to safety practices put an emphasis on rules, training, assessing risks, and eliminating errors. This is characterized by a focus on safety systems, and an attempt to “engineer” better safety performance. However, such approaches fall short in having an impact on an organization’s most critical safety asset – it’s safety culture.

While systems approaches are capable of addressing some safety challenges, they are incapable of managing the complexity of safety culture – in fact they often undermine it. Safety systems that over-constrain or inappropriately structure work activity often produce negative unintended consequences. People develop shortcuts or work-arounds, become frustrated or complacent, and begin to view health and safety as a compliance burden. When such issues become habitual a shift in safety culture is even more critical.

To shape or shift a safety culture one needs to effectively make sense of an organization’s narratives. Narratives are the experiences, anecdotes, and observations that happen every day in offices, crew meetings, work breaks and on the job. The patterns across such narratives gives organizations a deep sense of their culture. The observations and experiences underlying these patterns indicate where and how change efforts should be focused.

In this sense a safety culture intervention becomes evolutionary. This approach requires an organization to continuously ask: “What actions can we take today to help us amplify what is working well with our current safety culture?  What actions can we take to help us eliminate where we are at risk?” This continuous flow of action informed by deep safetySCAN insights is how organizations proactively shape their safety cultures and create transformational safety improvements. As Peter Drucker famously said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Benefits of safetySCAN
Influence an organisation’s safety culture in authentic, effective, practical ways:

  • Gain deep understanding of current organisation culture including the different contexts and safety micro-cultures that collectively contribute to an overall safety culture
  • Engage the entire workforce (i.e. from front-line to “C” suite) in what it means to work safely
  • Open up mindsets to accept new safety paradigms that focus less on errors and accidents and more on what is being done to make work environments safe
  • Enable top management who are held legally accountable by safety regulatory agencies to monitor front-line operations real-time in an unbiased way
  • Establish a human awareness network that alerts line managers and safety professionals to act and thus greatly enhancing the prevention of accidents from occurring
  • Provide a lead indicator of issues, enabling environments that avoid situations, rather than reporting on accidents and near-misses.

What do you get?
We are currently offering safetySCAN at a discounted price, as it is the second SCAN to be released. What you get for this is:

  • One month of collecting signified micro-narratives via website and apps.  There is no limit to how many you can capture – you drive the capture process.
  • Unlimited copies of the SenseMaker® Collector apps for Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices for people to collect material.  The apps allow people to collect audio, text and picture data into the framework.
  • Website for online narrative collection.  (The website only collects text data – pictures and audio are not available via this route.)
  • A standard output report of the collected material produced by us – including some explanation/interpretation of what the patterns of narrative mean.
  • Free copy of the SenseMaker® Patterns for iPad software with which to explore the data.
  • Access to data exports via a project user ID and SenseMaker® Data Export web page – CSV and SMS file types are accessible for use with SenseMaker® Explorer or third-party software tools.
  • The ability to customise by adding your logo, introductory text and ONE multi-choice question.
  • The possibility of setting the system up in a language other than English (this can be arranged by contacting us).


We’re working hard to launch the new SCANs experience, please leave your email address if you’d like to be updated when it launches.

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