Photovoice in the Workplace.pdfAmerica Journal of Industrial Medicine (2010)
Background Photovoice, a photographic participatory action research methodology was
used in a workplace setting to assess hazards that were creating extremely high injury and
incidents rates for university custodians and to promote the conditions to eliminate or
reduce those hazards.
Methods University custodians participated in a Photovoice project to identify, categorize,
and prioritize occupational hazards and to discuss and propose solutions to these
problems. Results were presented to management and to all custodians for further
discussion. The effort was led by a worker-based union-sponsored participatory evaluation
team in partnership with a university researcher.
Results Visual depiction of hazardous tasks and exposures among custodians and
management focused primarily on improper or unsafe equipment, awkward postures,
lifting hazards, and electrical hazards. The process of taking pictures and presenting them
created an ongoing discussion among workers and management regarding the need for
change and for process improvements, and resulted in greater interest and activity
regarding occupational health among the workers. In a follow-up evaluation 1-year later,
a number of hazards identified through Photovoice had been corrected. Injury rates for
custodians had decreased from 39% to 26%.
Conclusions Photovoice can be an important tool, not just for identifying occupational
hazards, but also empowering workers to be more active around health and safety and may
facilitate important changes in the workplace.
Citation InformationMarian Flum, Carlos Eduardo Siqueira, Anthony DeCaro and Scott Redway. "Photovoice in the Workplace.pdf" America Journal of Industrial Medicine (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carlos_siqueira/23/