“Do We See When We Look?”

Our sense of sight plays a critical role in ensuring we remain safe at work.  Without our sense of sight there are many tasks that become either impossible or not feasible to complete safely.  In order to understand our sense of sight we must stop thinking of our sense of sight as only our eyes.  To help illustrate this point let’s compare our sense of sight to a video detection system utilized in the security field.

In the security field we use video detection systems that can detect when someone is trying to access a certain area from which they are normally restricted from.  Although they are called video detection systems, they rely on more than just the cameras to produce useful information.  These systems also utilize analytics. Without both systems operating correctly and in concert with one another, the video detection system will fail.  This is the same for our sense of sight where our eyes and brain must work correctly and together for us to understand what is happening.

Video detection systems rely on video camera to capture images in its field of view. In reality, the cameras are not seeing anything.  The image that is captured by the camera is processed through the use of analytics that interpret the image.  This is also true of the human eye.  The human eye produces an image of what is in its field of view but just like the video camera it isn’t seeing anything.  In other words, while our eyes are important they are just one part of our sense of sight.  In order for us to know what is happening our brains must process the image.

One critical part of our sense of sight that is most often overlooked is the understanding that while our brains process images, they are only capable of processing the information based on what we have learned throughout our lives.  Our brain process is how analytics work.  Analytics are only as good as the programming.  It is the programming that allows them to be able to detect whether an object is moving towards a certain area or away from it.  If the analytics are programmed correctly, they can even differentiate between a bird, deer or human.  But the key is the analytics have the knowledge (programming).

This process is what we mean when we say “Do we see when we look?”.  If we have healthy eyes we can look at what is going on, but are we understanding and processing what we see?  In order for us to identify hazards in the workplace, we must first have the knowledge to recognize the potential hazards.  When employees are unaware or not trained on how to identify hazards in their workplace they may look at the hazard but fail to recognize or see it as a hazard which can lead to preventable injuries.

At Elite Contracting Group, we have invested heavily in developing our own environmental, health and safety training. This training is specific to the type of work we complete and the hazards that are associated with it.  By training employees on how to identify hazards we are not only giving them more knowledge but ensuring they recognize hazards faster when they are looking around the work area.  This quicker recognition of hazards leads to preventing injuries.  We understand that when employees are trained properly, they will not just be looking around the job but seeing what is actually going on and that is something we can all live with.


“Safety Always”