UT Develops App That Promotes Worker Safety


A construction worker's chance of dying from a workplace related accident is about 30,000 times greater than dying in a shark attack.

That is one of the many odd comparisons in an online app that University of Tennessee staff members have put together to teach young people about workplace safety.

UT's Construction Industry Research and Policy Center and its Department of Industrial Systems Engineering teamed to develop the app Working Safely is No Accident, which is meant to teach young people ages 13-24 about workplace safety and health and to understand their rights in the workplace, said Ed Taylor, who headed the project.

The app has been entered in the Worker Safety and Health App Challenge, which is a competition sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Taylor, who is administrative director of the UT Construction Industry center.

"The goal of the challenge was to make an app that is interesting and fun," Taylor said. "We tried to show that you have these sometimes humorous comparisons, like the likelihood of dating a super model is affected by your age, income, where you live; and the likelihood of a workplace incident is based on following procedures, using protective equipment, and so forth."

The app offers an interactive game in which users can evaluate the probability of various things happening. It is meant to show how probabilities are influenced by many factors and how following the right guidelines can reduce the chance of a workplace accident.

Taylor said the mission of his department, which does contract work for OSHA, is to promote safety for construction workers. Two people each from both of the UT departments designed the app. If UT wins the competition, any prize money will be split between the two departments.

The contest includes $30,000 in prizes, including a $3,000 people's choice prize. Winners will be announced Jan. 8.

To learn more about the game or to vote in the contest, visit tinyurl.com/cwkzt3b.

knoxnews.com | Tags:  workplace safety, construction safety, OSHA, EMR

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