Using pictures innovatively to determine workplace hazard identification skills

Document Type

Journal Article


RMIT Publishing


School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice




Bahn, S. T. (2014). Using pictures innovatively to determine workplace hazard identification skills. Qualitative Research Journal, 14(2), 150-160. Available here.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a data collection tool that is not new, however, has been very effective as an assessment tool in a 2012 research study investigating the ability of new entrants to underground mining to effectively identify hazards within their work areas. Design/methodology/approach – The study set about to determine if after a full days’ health and safety induction training entrants new to the mining industry could identify hazards contained in photographs of the work areas they would be working in the next day. Findings – Using a picture-based survey as an assessment or data collection tool provides a fun way to access data. This is particularly useful when trying to engage participants who are unwilling to provide data, as in this case, after a full day’s health and safety induction. The tool was viewed as a puzzle and therefore encouraged completion. In addition, if the tool is used to feedback the “answers” to the group after they have been assessed it also serves as a learning device. Research limitations/implications – The results of the research have been published elsewhere and are not the topic of this paper; instead in this paper a picture-based survey tool is presented as a valid and useful data collection method for qualitative research. Originality/value – The study results in terms of the use of a picture-based tool as an assessment is of value to those conducting health and safety induction training as it may achieve better engagement.



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