Could a Japanese invented safety procedure reduce workplace injuries in Canada?

The Japanese-innovated industrial safety method known as Pointing-and-Calling might look a bit strange to someone from Canada, but there’s something for health and safety professionals to learn from this.

Shisa kanko, or, in English, “pointing-and-calling,” reduces workplace errors by up to 85 percent. The method involves looking at an object, pointing at it, calling out the procedure, and listening to the call. Speed check? Point at the speedometer, call out the speed, hear that call, safely move on. Point and Call Safety reduced train accidents by 30% in Japan, important when operating high speed bullet trains at over 300 km/h.

“Pointing and Calling gives co-action and co-reaction among the operator’s brain, eyes, hands, mouth, and ears. Not only looking but also pointing and sometimes stating the observation avoids sloppiness and helps keep focus and attention.

…additionally, pointing and calling allows for easy process confirmation. A supervisor observing the employee can easily verify that the signal has been seen and that the timetable has been checked. Hence, it is much easier to train operators and correct mistakes.” Source

Point and Calling is part of a larger part of a larger program called the Zero-Accident Total Participation Campaign organized by Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association JISHA. Click here for more fascinating details on the rationale and cognitive science behind Point and Call and how it’s used not only in transportation, but also construction and medical sectors. The New York City Subway system is the first organization outside of Japan to adopt this safety technique.

Could the construction and manufacturing sectors in Canada benefit from this technique to improve overall safety and improve the quality of training? Let us know what you think.

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