Zombies Lurk in New Online Workplace Safety Game
According to the American Society of Safety Engineers, in 2007, a total of 117 teens under the age of 18 died from work-related injuries and another 77,000 teen workers were hurt badly enough to end up in hospital emergency rooms. NIOSH says that nationally about 230,000 teens suffer work-related injuries, with most of those injuries occurring in the retail or service industries. Overall, close to 6,000 workers die from on-the-job injuries and 4.4 million more suffer from injuries and illnesses in the U.S. alone.
To help prevent such injuries and reduce such numbers, and to illustrate how SH&E professionals contribute to that effort, the ASSE this week launched an interactive online computer game called "Don't be a Zombie at Work." Located at www.dontbeazombieatwork.org and free to play, the new game features an imaginary evil corporation. Players find themselves helping their co-workers avoid becoming a "zombie" by finding tools and information from embedded SH&E professionals to stay safe on the job.
The game involves the mysterious "BodgeDab" industries led by the reputedly evil boss Damballa Bokor,that has just moved into a large city begun opening businesses all over town. At the same time, the people working at these establishments are becoming "unnatural"--one might say "zombified." And the "virus" is quickly spreading among all workers. The player's job is to move through these establishments--a restaurant (Club BodgeDab), a warehouse, and an office--to save the workers by undoing the workplace hazards. This will save the zombiefied employees and create a safe work environment. If done successfully, the player moves to the final challenge at BodgeDab headquarters and a showdown with Damballa Bokor.
Throughout the game "Elle," an ASSE member and SH&E professional, is working undercover to help stop BodgeDab industries and inform the player of dangers along the way. Players are equipped with a cell phone to call Elle and a team of safety professionals who provide clues on how to prevent workplace hazards, save the zombies, and stop the dreaded BodgeDab industries. In addition, players are also provided several other tools that can be moved to a tool box/inventory area to fix the hazardous situations at each level. Instructions are provided throughout the game as are quizzes.
ASSE members developed the game as a tool for its members and the public in an effort to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. Other free young-worker tools available from the society include the "Be Safe At Work: Tips for Teens" bookmark and brochures titled "Important Workplace Safety Guide for Young Workers" and "Preventing Roadway Crashes," available by contacting ASSE at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 847-699-2929 or downloading them from www.asse.org/newsroom in the press kit.