The Weigand Safety Department worked with a draw shop out of San Diego, CA, and created an animated safety video aimed at emphasizing personal responsibility in regard to jobsite safety while also communicating jobsite safety rules to new employees, subcontractors, and site visitors. The style of the video was specifically selected to increase retention, attention, motivation, and jobsite efficiency.

Previously, a 15-minute slideshow style video was shown to communicate this material. The new video comes in at a little over five minutes and covers the same material. These videos are shown nearly every day on every jobsite and the results indicate not only does it save time, it has proven to be extremely beneficial to the safety performance at each jobsite. No longer does someone say “ I didn’t know the rules” or “I didn’t know that”.

CEO Larry Weigand begins the video with an inspiring message that the number one goal of Weigand Construction is to send all workers home safely every day by avoiding jobsite incidents and accidents. The video animation draws attention to different safety scenarios while portraying the do’s and don’ts regarding that specific situation. The video is a fast-paced cartoon drawing that sparks curiosity and hooks the audience by narrating what is being drawn on the screen. 

The style of video was specifically selected to communicate important jobsite safety regulations in a manner that holds the viewer’s attention and to increase retention of the material presented. Scientists believe that knowledge is based on metaphorical mapping in the brain so when the brain processes a literal metaphor, such as a whiteboard drawing, the information retention can be 22% higher than in just visual or auditory presentations. Our brains process videos and images faster and better than written words and retain the information much longer.

Utilizing a cartoon style has been shown to free up the mind to absorb the message and be more attentive to the verbal message of the whiteboard video. In the video, the hand is shown drawing each cartoon. In addition, the hand was selected purposefully as research shows that when viewers see a step by step progression, their attention wanders less. The step by step unveiling of the message also creates a fun video. The unveiling of each message creates anticipation in the brain which triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the feeling of pleasure. The dopamine invigorates the learning the centers in the brain and the viewer wants to learn more; this makes the video more enjoyable while also creating retention of the material. The better retention is important to Weigand Construction as it creates a more consistent message to all trades on all Weigand jobsites.

Overall, the feedback from jobsites has been very positive stating that the shorter length of the video has been beneficial for the superintendents and that the material maintains the attention of the increasing number of new workers from younger generations. The video has spurred safety questions on multiple jobsites which has led to a conversation of how to best mitigate that particular task. The involvement from everyone on site demonstrates the video has been successful in sparking a curiosity about safety while retaining the presented information. Overall, the video has shown to be beneficial in maintaining and growing the Weigand safety culture in a consistent, fun, and memorable way.