APHIRM Toolkit Software
- Morgan and Hoppitt
- Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors
- La Trobe University
Musculoskeletal disorders are the largest OH&S problem in Australia, causing high levels of pain & costing around $24 billion annually.
The APHIRM Toolkit software provides workplaces with an evidence-based system for identifying & managing risk factors. It is based on a standard survey of workers which identifies workplace hazards before an accident occurs. In a world-first, it incorporates psychosocial hazards, for truly comprehensive workplace assessments.
Working closely with the academic team we delivered an elegant, integrated platform which exceeded expectations & raised the benchmark internationally. It is currently being piloted by some of the nation’s largest corporate & regulatory organisations.
Working with a limited budget, we needed to take a painful, complex process & create a simple, fluid UX. Some of the key design features are:
Workgroup Portal: Each assessment generates a confidential online “portal” for the workers, which acts as both a survey & feedback mechanism.
Guidance material: We separated out the enormous body of instructional material & created a parallel “Help” feature that was referenced in-situ throughout the assessment process.
Mobile devices: We made it possible for workers to perform everything on a mobile device, making the platform easier to implement.
Privacy: Confidentiality was paramount, both for the workers & management.
The response from some of Australia\’s largest corporations & regulatory bodies has been extremely positive.
Workplace safety is critically important to all businesses, both in terms of cost & compliance. There is also huge tension between the cost of hazard mitigation & the cost of compensation & insurance—corporations need to make sure that their chosen risk mitigation strategy is as effective & comprehensive as possible.
The fact that psychosocial hazards are factored into these assessments is a world-first—positioning this Toolkit as a leader in the field.
Of course, the other key impact will be the deep resource of de-identified data, which will inform continued research.
Too often, ground-breaking research never makes it out of the academic bunker—because it is inaccessible to the general public.
This is a design issue. Our challenge throughout this project was to deeply engage with the goals of the University team—then identify powerful points of engagement with the workplace & reduce barriers to entry—so that the research actually gets traction in the workplace.
The psychosocial aspect of this project is being watched closely by the international OH&S community as it promises to be a game-changer.
This project has been developed entirely in Victoria, leveraging world leading research from La Trobe University.
From the original theoretical model of a 24 stage matrix with paper surveys & manual data input, we reimagined the entire UX (while retaining all the academic rigour).
Steppers: The screen for each new assessment is simple & clean. Each stage is revealed progressively through the use of “steppers”, which are then collapsed on completion, keeping the UI uncluttered to start with & clean through to completion.
Workgroup portal: While the platform supports the use of paper, the huge leap forward was making all external input possible through a unique mobile optimised portal. We even managed to make the survey work on mobile.
STRUCTURED PROCESS: The assessment is a linear, guided workflow, enforcing correct protocols to ensure quality output.
ITERATIVE ASSESSMENTS: The platform runs sequences of assessments, to create a constant cycle of analysis & improvement.
PRIVACY: Privacy is critical—for the registered organisations because of exposure to risk—for individuals, who might not be honest if they think it could impact their employment—and for the University because of their ethics framework. Satisfying these privacy requirements, while still making the software easy to use was a significant challenge.
MANAGEMENT BUY-IN: The process includes comprehensive input from & reporting to senior management.