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June 18, 2014
Safety is serious business. So why has OSHA created a game about workplace hazards?

OSHA has released a new interactive game to help small businesses identify common hazards in manufacturing and construction workplaces. What’s the big idea, and could it help improve safety at your facility?

“Hazard identification is a critical part of creating an injury and illness prevention program that will keep workers safe and healthy on the job,” noted OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels. He says the new training tool educates employers about how to take control of their workplaces and protect workers. “It also demonstrates that following well-established safety practices is also good for the bottom line,” he added.

The tool, which was developed in a game format, can be found on OSHA’s website at http://www.OSHA.gov/hazfinder. Users have the opportunity to identify hazards in various scenarios and can play from the perspective of either a business owner or an employee. For example, in one manufacturing scenario, the player is the head of a fictitious company that makes parts for next-generation hovercrafts.

Players use the following tools to accomplish the mission:

Collect information: Read manuals, safety data sheets, OSHA data, and other sources to find hazards that have already been identified by others.

Inspect the workplace: Inspecting the equipment and the surrounding work areas allows the user to look over the equipment without any obstructions that might exist while the equipment is being operated.

Observe the operation: Watch the operator and note any hazardous situations. Observing an operation gives the viewer an opportunity to see how the task is actually completed. This provides insight on additional hazards that would not be recognizable otherwise. This can only be done when workers are present and production is occurring.

Investigate incidents: Use an incident as an opportunity to learn about hazards that may have been overlooked.

Involve employees: Equipment operators are often aware of issues that may not be apparent during an inspection. Talk to the workers and listen to their feedback.
Check out the game to see if it might be a valuable addition to your hazard identification training.

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