body mapping

body mapping

Health & Safety activists in many countries have been using body mapping to organise for better conditions at work.

To use body mapping workers don't have to read and write in a class.

Body mapping is done with simple drawings and in group discussion, without having to use books, manuals or scientific reports.

You meet together with your fellow workers and draw a simple figure of a worker on a large sheet of paper.


You draw colored dots on the figure to show where you have pain. All the workers draw colored dots on the figure where they have pain.
This is body mapping.

When you discover that many people have marked the same areas, it shows that many workers are hurt in the same way.
The pain is not just one worker's problem.
Injury and pain are a collective problem.

By making a drawing of the workplace and using colored dots you can discover which areas of the workplace are causing the worst problems. You can discover which activities cause most injury or pain. This is workplace mapping.

Workers then discuss what action they can take to achieve improvements in their work and stop being injured. Action for Health & Safety is a very important part of the work of genuine unions.

The AAWL body mapping workshop is written for activists who want to use body mapping in a workplace to help workers organise for better Health & Safety. The workshop was developed by the Victorian Trades Hall Council.

You can download the workshop here:

Download the Body Mapping Workshop

A manual on Body Mapping has been published by the ILO.

You can download it here:
Barefoot Research: A Worker's Manual for Organising on Work Security by Margaret Keith, James Brophy, Peter Kirby, Ellen Rosskam (2002)