Top 5 Lighthearted Animated Films that Cover Serious Workplace Safety and Health

By Liz Stevens, writer, Post Press

The Napo Film Consortium is a source for short, animated, lighthearted videos on a variety of workplace health and safety topics. The films are applicable for a wide range of industries and manufacturing operations. They were created for viewers of all backgrounds and for speakers of all languages.

In these videos, Everyman Napo and his co-workers humorously illustrate pitfalls, risks and hazards on the job as well as measures for preventing and mitigating harm to employees. Napo often is the hapless worker who ignores safety and health precautions and who then reaps the painful rewards of his willful ignorance. In Napo’s world, everyone speaks the same language – an expressive mumbling, accompanied by gestures, that is immediately understandable.

Written and directed by Eric Scandella for Via Storia, with 3D animation produced by Fabrice Barbey for Protozoaire, and original music composed by Henri Muller, this series premiered in 1998 and now features 40 animated videos ranging from two to 12 minutes.

As described on the Consortium’s website, “The films are not designed to provide comprehensive coverage of a topic, nor should they be seen as training or teaching films. The role of Napo and his friends is to provide an appetizer to OSH through their engaging characters, amusing story lines, and their humorous and light-hearted approach.”

Each film is co-produced by a number of European Institutions. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in Bilbao, Spain has funded the development of the website. The Napo Consortium currently comprises AUVA (Austria), CIOP (Poland), DGUV (Germany), EU-OSHA (Bilbao, Spain), INAIL (Italy), INRS (France) and TNO (Netherlands).

The Consortium has generously made the copyrighted video series available for use in limited circumstances. Individual scenes, for example, may be used in PowerPoint presentations and on company intranet sites, but may not be used on internet sites. Scenes and entire films may be downloaded for use on a company’s internal intranet sites, and the URL for the Napo films site may be shared on a company’s website. See the Napo website for complete information on the use of the videos.

A sampling of the most recent videos includes:

Napo in…too hot to work (2023, duration 1:39)
It’s 2023 and Napo et al are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. “Climate change has risen up the political and social agenda. Napo’s new film is designed to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on the working environment.”

Napo in… robots at work (2022, duration 4:50)
Animation meets automation in this video. “This film provides an introduction to workplace robotics safety, and describes some of the emerging robotic technologies, the types of accidents associated with robotics, the main hazards and more.”

Napo in Lighten the Load (2021, duration 6:19)
In this video, “Work-related musculoskeletal disorders                                             (MSDs) are the most common work-related health problem in Europe, despite significant efforts to prevent them, with backache and upper limb pain being the most prevalent.” (MSDs are, of course, not restricted to Europe.)

Napo in…dust at work (2018, duration 7:50)
Napo faces off with dust in this video. “Dust is a potential problem in the workplace in two different but significant ways: respiratory problems and dust explosions.”

Napo in… working together (2012, duration 9:24)
What happens when plant owners talk the talk but don’t walk the walk on workplace safety? “All is not what it appears as the factory owner gives a media interview about the production and safety records of the company. On different levels, unsafe work practices, a failure to follow…”

As a Top 5 bonus, this additional Napo film is from early in the series. It remains as relevant now as it was nearly 20 years ago.

Napo in stop that noise (2005, duration 7:57)
“Noise at work affects thousands of workers. The film is designed to illustrate some of the main causes of hearing loss and to emphasize the need to control noise at the source.”

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. When it comes to workplace health and safety, the humorous touch of the Napo videos can bring the message home while keeping the mood light.

For more information, visit