Making it intuitive

I have been renewing all our company’s rigging gear and have been thinking the past few days about how we make things intuitive and encourage good configuration decisions.

Colour coding is one obvious possibility that springs to mind.

After having just finished James Garvey’s The Persuaders, a highly recommended read, which will leave you rather worried and more than a little paranoid in regards to which choices are truly yours, I realize that the use of colour to indicate good or bad practice can represent a powerful nudge.

EN 1492-2, the European standard for round slings foresees a colour coding scheme for round slings that corresponds with minimum breaking strengths.

This makes a lot of sense, as it creates a high degree of clarity for the end user, removing the ambiguity resulting from lost, damaged or removed labels.

We used colour coding for the treeMOTION – admittedly not exactly at a rocket science level – green for go (i.e. PPE attachment points) – red for no (non-PPE, gear storage points).

DMM used the EN 1492-2 colour coding for the sheaves on their Impact Blocks… green on the IMB-S indicating the 200kN MBS, yellow on the IBM-L indicating its chunky 300kN MBS.

This would appear to me to be one appropriate means to introduce checks and balances into the harsh environment (for gear) that we work in at an intuitive level, by doing so encouraging good choices.

I suppose alternatively we could also start popping Post Its on everything… not sure that concept will fly, though. It would look funny, mind you…