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Using Design Thinking to Address Issues faced by DPI and SafeWork NSW


Building a deeper understanding of risk management and quad bike safety

More Australians died on farms in 2016 than in mining and construction combined. In order to reduce fatalities and injuries, DPI partnered with SafeWork NSW to research and understand how to address quad bike safety from the lens of the end-user. The Strategy Group was brought onboard to facilitate the cross-departmental team to uncover insights into the attitudes and behavior of farmers, through a stakeholder focused, iterative, problem discovery and solution design approach.



Understanding attitudes towards safety on farms with Design Thinking

Design Thinking as a methodology is best applied when seeking to engage deeply with stakeholders to go beyond understanding functional and technical details of a challenge and seeking to uncover attitudes and behaviours.

The team travelled across NSW and conducted over eighty in-depth interviews with quad bike owners and operators from diverse farming backgrounds. Sitting in their homes and on their farms, we empathisedwith their real-world problems and needs, to develop solutions that would stick. Throughout the process, we focused on co-designing solutions with farmers. We ran an ideation workshop with farmers and industry representatives in attendance and ran in-person testing sessions to ensure the voice of the end-user was captured at every point in the process. As a result, the final recommendations are grounded authentically in the voice of the NSW farming community.



Leveraging the love of family and emerging technology to drive safety

With 16 recommendations presented to the executive, the outcomes of the project fall under four key areas that provide substantial opportunity to improve quad bike safety in NSW.

Farming families –engaging the whole family to reinforce safety messages that create generational change
Marketing and awareness –raising the profile of trainers and inspectors to reduce skepticism, and using real-world statistics and experiences of financial loss, death and injury.
Emerging technology –promoting technoogies that reduce dependence on quad bikes e.g. drones, and utilisingvirtual reality for training
Collaboration and partnerships –encourage all organisationsand work with other government agencies to contribute to the cause and ensure farmers receive consistent information and reinforcement of safety messaging from trusted sources.

The project also increased collaboration between DPI and SafeWork NSW, and provided a capability development experience in Design Thinking for the team.

Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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