By Cathy Moore
Let’s grab some elearning that might need perking up and add some perk.
This sample comes from the US government, which published Teen Worker Safety in Restaurants. There’s a lot to the site, but I’ll focus on just one aspect.
Like many instructors, the authors tell, and then they show. It can be more powerful to reverse those steps and show, then tell–especially when you’re talking about possible amputation.
What is machine guarding? When moving machine parts have the potential for causing severe workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands or amputations, machine guarding eliminates or controls these hazards and provides essential and required protection for the worker.
This is followed by lots more text, including regulations. Next to that text are three photos. I’ve used the last photo in the rewrite.
Will this worker’s hand be crushed by the pizza crust maker?
No. The worker’s hand is safe, thanks to machine guarding. (If this were an animation rather than a static site, we could add an arrow pointing to the guard.)
Machine guarding protects workers from moving parts.
- We started with a question and compelling situation.
- We used the question and a picture to show the need for machine guarding instead of telling about it.
- We chopped the “telling” text down to a few words.
I wasn’t sure why the authors used the abstract “machine guarding” instead of the more concrete “machine guards.” “Machine guarding” suggests a process, like having people patrol the kitchen: “You there! Step away from the blender!”