Safety photos

Many online safety professionals get the occasional email asking whether there is a repository of safety photos that can be used in support of safety programs.  The enquiries come from all over the world and the easy answer is there isn’t one.

There are many reasons for this.  One is that almost all of the photos taken by OHS regulators are produced for legal purposes and have legal restrictions.  Similarly photos taken of incident sites by companies are usually for evidence.

The best  safety photos are those photos that are not taken for safety purposes but standard work photos that show safe work practices.  Yet few companies take photos of their workplaces purely to record how work is undertaken.

Recently the European Agency for Safety & Health At Work ran a contest for the best safety photo in Europe.  The winner has been announced for a photo entitled “Beekeeper” by Christopher Azzopardi.

Copyright - EU-OSHA, www.osha-photocompetition.eu

The Agency also has a gallery of the top 100 images received for the competition which are recommended for viewing.

The reuse of images are subject to legal restrictions so please check with EU-OSHA.

In SafetyAtWorkBlog’s experience, safety professionals should have a camera with them during inspections or walkrounds, not to catch out workers doing the wrong thing but as a record of how the workplace operates.  Just as audits can provide snapshots of processes so images are snapshots of the “way things are done”.

Kevin Jones

Categories government, OHS, photographs, safety, Uncategorized, workplaceTags , , ,

3 thoughts on “Safety photos”

  1. Absolutely thumbs-up on the idea of having a camera on you to capture good examples in a workplace Kevin. With safety reviews I do I\’m always on the look-out for sexy solutions put together by a workplace. Can\’t beat them as quick, practical examples to include in recommendations.

    I\’d also add that there really is no reason OH&S shots have to have that grey \”dust coat\” feel to them; the \”look\” that takes no account of the aesthetics of what is being photographed. A nicely composed, well lit shot that has visual impact delivers the goods. Most people will prefer to look at an interesting shot over a dull \”dust coat\” shot; and we want people to pay attention to images. Sure, there are times that the right image is a simple image with no \”wow\” in it. But I think it\’s a mistake to get all caught up in analysis and evaluation of issues to the point that you fail to give a bit of thought to how to turn a banal subject into something with a bit of punch. Guilty your Honour.

  2. What an excellent piece! Often I have looked for \”real life\” examples of how safety and production can work effectively together and because of the primary industry I work in (Petro-chem), it is difficulty to get approval to take photos. I thought there was something I wasn\’t doing right! Thank you for this piece.

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