Celebrating 40 years of publishing Panorama
Four decades ago, Loss Prevention’s “Spotlight on Safety” blazed a trail that continues to highlight significant safety issues to this day.
The first edition of Panorama appeared in 1982, published by Loss Prevention (LP) to “give a wide view of safety.” While the magazine began with a focus of on-the-job safety, the first edition included a number of articles about nonoperational topics — ensuring eye safety while playing racquet sports, as well as advice on how to wear a ghutra without affecting peripheral vision while driving.
With the tagline “Spotlight on Safety,” the magazine quickly pivoted its attention to off-the-job safety with the realization that many incidents leading to medical time off work were occurring in the homes of workers and their families, on sports fields, and especially on the roads. The magazine was a way to bring safety to an entirely new audience — the families in Aramco’s communities.
This publication was a relative trailblazer in its beginnings, highlighting some significant safety issues. Less than a year after its launch, Panorama dedicated an entire issue to road safety, an unusual move for the time but also indicating the company’s concern for off-the-job driving behaviors. The edition also included a cautionary tale about the growing trend of using headphones while driving or walking — an almost unnerving precursor to the use of mobile phones a few decades later.
From its very beginnings, one of Panorama’s main goals was to involve the community as much as possible, and this was done in a variety of ways. One of these was highlighting “real life” contributions made by employees and their families whose actions, for example, helped to save a life or prevent a hazardous situation.
One of the most significant of these occurred in 1983 when six swimming coaches led students to safety from a community swimming pool after a sudden release of chlorine had caused coughing and dizziness among swimmers. Such situations highlighted the importance of community care and individual awareness to everyday activities that could, without much warning, lead to greater danger.
Two years after its launch, Panorama appeared in both Arabic and English, attracting an extended readership. The only difference was the title, with the Arabic version carrying a translation of the tagline “Spotlight on Safety.”
Focus on children too
The overall emphasis on off-the-job safety was cemented in 1986 when a page dedicated to children was introduced, which immediately became a regular feature with news and activities aiming “to help children grow with safe attitudes.”
“It was progressive for its time,” says Haifa Alsheikh, a member of LP’s Support Services Unit (SSU) and current editor of the magazine. “If we consider where other companies were in terms of editorial production at this time, this was really a very unique publication.”
As with mainstream company operations, for safety to be truly effective everyone needs to play their part. With a dedicated focus on off-the-job safety, family oriented activities such as going to the beach, barbecuing and desert camping brought a direct involvement that helped achieve this participation.
Photographs have also been another popular way to connect with the readership. Employee’s families are used as models with children stealing the limelight on almost all covers of Panorama over the decades. “It does make a difference to have the community involved, as it provides a certain feeling of connection,” adds Alsheikh.
Panorama’s approach to safety education has been consistent over the decades. Its content has kept pace as topics continued to evolve and technology transformed lives, and social and cultural norms changed.
“We strive to make Panorama relevant and engaging,” says Eman M. Rafie, LP SSU supervisor, “so we address many of the safety issues which are little changed from the 1980s — kitchen fires, sports safety, slips, trips and falls.” There are also many areas where progress has been made — such as convincing audiences how important it is to use seatbelts and child seats, as well as highlighting the health hazards associated with smoking cigarettes.
Today, Panorama continues its role as the only off-the-job safety publication produced by the company — an important responsibility with such a large community base, but also one that LP is happy to uphold.
Speaking on how Panorama has made an impact across the company, Ibrahim A. Khawaji, manager of the Technical Services Department in LP, states: “Safety is not something we leave behind at the office, or on the worksite. Panorama is a shining example of how Aramco has built a culture of safety in homes and communities, and makes safety something we can all relate to and put into practice, wherever we are.”
Ghassan G. Abulfaraj, chief loss prevention engineer, says of the long-standing magazine: “Panorama set a precedent as a focused outlet for off-the-job safety. It continues to provide us with engaging information that makes our homes, playgrounds, and roads safer. The principle of integrating on-the-job safety knowledge into off-the-job environments is what continues to drive the company to make Aramco’s communities safer.”