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Occupational safety and visual communication: User-centred design of safety training material for migrant farmworkers in Italy

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Vigoroso, Lucia (main author), Caffaro, Federica (author), Cavallo, Eugenio (author)
Online article
Publication Date:
Italy: Science Direct
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
communication barriers, farm workers, farmers, information needs, photographs, training, training aids, training needs, visual communication, migrant, safety education, language barrier, survey research, Italy (Europe), representations, safety communication
11 pages., Via online journal., Visual communication allows the transmission of ideas and information more easily than written communication. Therefore, visual communication is used in different sectors (education, health, machinery, marketing, politics, environmental studies, musicology, science) to overcome language barriers and to effectively convey useful information. Nevertheless, the use of visual material to improve the comprehensibility of safety training in the workplace has been under-investigated, which is particularly true in the agricultural sector, despite its hazardousness and the high number of migrant farmworkers who might benefit from training provided by means of visual communication due to their often scarce knowledge of the local language. Combining graphic composition rules with a user-centred design (UCD) approach, this study aimed to develop visual safety training material based on migrant farmworkers’ needs to increase migrant trainees’ satisfaction in the training process. Focus groups were conducted with both trainers and migrant farmworkers to identify critical issues in existing safety training material and to discuss and evaluate different prototypes of the visual material developed by the authors. Significantly higher satisfaction was reported by migrants trained with the new material compared to a control group in a final training session (U = 152.50, z = −2.165, p = 0.030). Implications for the improvement of safety training for migrant farmworkers are discussed.