Lego – helping us question our approach to safety.

Posted by Jeff Burns on 17 October 2018 | 0 Comments Articles

The Lego bricks that we know and love were created back in 1949 making them nearly 70 years old. Lego has since grown to be a globally recognised brand. Its reach has expanded to include games, movies and even 6 theme parks. Turkish Airlines have even developed a Lego Airline safety video.

No one can disagree on the goodwill and brand awareness that Lego has developed since its creation all those years ago. But what can this teach us about safety? Let’s explore some thoughts.

Universal system

Lego bricks are part of a universal system. In other words, a Lego brick from 1958 would still fit a brick made today. It is designed to be compatible with many other styles of bricks.

Why do our safety cultures have so much branding and TLAs? (Three letter acronyms) Can’t we make them simpler to understand and universally compatible across companies? Think of the complications when a contractor from one of your suppliers has to work at your office and think about 2 often-different safety cultures.

Creativity and fun

Lego is all about creativity and fun. How are we using the creative wisdom of our teams to further develop safety culture? Fun is an incredible learning tool. In an essay called ‘The Neuroscience of Joyful Education’ by Judy Willis, it was commented “brain research tells us that when the fun stops, learning often stops too.”

In her book, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning, Judy goes on to show how fun experiences increase levels of dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen – all things that promote learning.

Michael Tews, associate professor with Pennsylvania State University in his research on the link between learning and fun for employees reported “the key practical implication is that organizations should consider fun as a viable strategy to promote informal learning beyond traditional learning supports”.

Promoting a culture of humour and fun can go a long way to connecting people in the workplace, and reducing the negative impact work can have on an individual’s health and well-being. Read more about the positive benefits of humour in the workplace.

Promoting a culture of humour and fun can go a long way to connecting people in the workplace, and reducing the negative impact work can have on an individual’s health and well-being.

Keep it simple

Think of the building analogy, Lego is all about foundational building and design. Have we designed a safety culture that is fit for purpose or one that just reports like a box ticking exercise? Taking this further, Lego is simply about building and people…is our safety culture simply about safety & people? Can we streamline it to make it easier for people to engage with?

It’s about people

Lego pieces come in a range of shapes, colours and sizes, just like people do. In a good safety culture everything and everyone needs to work well together and complement each other. What key pieces are you missing in your organisation that would help your team to work better?

Despite being nearly 70 years old the sets continue to inspire. How does your experienced staff help to inspire? Are we valuing the experience and contribution that they bring?

They also offer box sets for children and adults. Are we helping children to benefit from our safety cultures? Are we taking safety home with us or relegating it to the office/worksite? Don’t our families deserve better? How can we inspire the next generation to think about safety and keeping them and others safe from harm?

To infinity and beyond

Lego has even been to space. In 2011 13 Lego box sets were taken to the International Space Station. Is your safety culture reaching as far as it can, to every part of your organisation or does it dissipate the further you are from head office?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the questions posed, either in the comments below or email us. Or get in touch to find out how we can help improve your teams safety performance through our unique and inspirational safety magic.

Jeff recently discovered the joys of Lego again through the eyes of his 5 year old nephew!

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