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Construction Mobile Apps: Do They Make Workers Safer?

An article published in Architect highlights how some construction companies are capitalizing on technology and gameplay to increase safety in the workplace. These innovative employers are ditching traditional lecture trainings for a more modern approach to employee development and onboarding. But do these games really increase safety awareness?  

Mobile games designed for construction training purposes are aimed to simulate crucial aspects of a worker’s day, including basic safety practices and equipment used on the job. Through a series of active play, employees navigate through certain tasks and emergencies to show their understanding of the job they are applying for or the occupation they currently hold.  

The construction industry has not always been at the forefront of technological advancements. An article in Construct Connect reports construction companies are typically slow to adopt new technology in fear of the profit and safety repercussions that can occur in the beginning. While some companies consider mobile training apps low cost and low risk, not everyone is willing to take the leap from traditional training.  

The Benefits  

Mobile apps can be a perfect segway for construction companies to experiment with more modern methods in the industry. According to Architect, these are the reasons why some employers are choosing to use mobile apps and games for training:  

Attracting Younger Employees 

Employers who opt for mobile-based training are finding the programs helpful in attracting younger workers. Younger generations have grown up with more access to technology than any generation before them. By incorporating technology into safety training, employers are adding a fun appeal that modern employees tend to gravitate towards.  

Easy Access  

Training on mobile devices means that applicants and employees can practice anywhere, anytime. For employers who find it difficult to schedule training sessions, this makes mobile training extremely desirable.  

Keeping Employee Attention 

Construction games offer prizes, levels, and rewards for advancing through different simulations and challenges. Employers looking to capture the attention of their employees may have better luck with mobile games in safety training than the traditional paper or video methods.  

Inexpensive  

Some mobile apps are free! In addition, most employees own smart devices and are easily able to download the programs on their personal devices.  

Games Build Skills  

Research has found that learning through ‘play’ and activity is a very effective method for retaining information. According to the Lego Foundation, playful learning experiences are effective for the development of broad, dynamic, and interconnenctive skills. Advocates of the mobile construction apps believe workers who learn safety through these venues are more likely to remember and practice the skills they encounter in the games, even if they are not fully aware at the time.  

Increasing Safety Interests 

Safety is not necessarily a topic of interest among employees on the worksite. But employers who use mobile games to assess and train in construction safety measures believe mobile games will spark more of a natural instinct to focus on safety on the job.  

The Cons  

Mobile learning in general is becoming popular in our society. However, not everyone is as eager to implement mobile apps into their safety programs as others. These are a few reasons why: 

Less Personal Interaction  

Any type of online or mobile training has the ability to take away from meaningful interactions between employees and supervisors. Learning from a programed game is not the same as learning from a co-worker or supervisor. This could not only lead to gaps in safety training but result in workers who are uncomfortable in asking for help or guidance.  

Uncustomizable Training 

Not every job site will have the same safety requirements. Using mobile games that simulate general safety practices would not be comprehensive enough to reduce accidents on the job without additional training.  

Cell Phone Use Increase 

Requiring employees to participate in mobile-based training could normalize the use of cell phone use in the workplace. Cell phones on construction sites have been known to increase the risk of accidents and distract employees from recognizing safety hazards.  

System Errors 

Mobile apps, like any other technology-based program, can experience glitches and issues preventing employees from completing training modules. Additionally, not all applicants and employees will have cell phones that are compatible with these programs. Pushing these apps as a requirement for job training would require employers to purchase additional equipment for workers who do not have compatable devices.  

Mobile Training Games On The Market  

If you’re workplace is looking for some apps to try, take a look at some of the mobile-based construction apps and games already being implemented across the country:  

  1. Simcoach: This program is geared towards aspiring construction workers, current workers, and supervisors. The game feature provides a variety of ways to address safety concerns in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. Simcoach helps players to discover their aptitudes and interests while also assessing areas workers may need to improve in on the job.  
  1. American Red Cross: This app teaches construction workers general first aid skills such as how to care for broken bones, strains, sprains, and more. It features tests, quizzes, and step-by-step instructions to help workers handle unexpected emergencies on the job.  
  1. Connecteam: This multi-use app keeps everyone on the job connected and provides access to onboarding training, routine training, and regulatory courses picked by the company.  
  1. O.S.H.A Interactive Safety Training: Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is entering the modern world of mobile games. O.S.H.A.’s interactive safety training, designed for small businesses in construction and manufacturing, helps employers and employees to learn how to identify possible hazards in the workplace.  

New York City Construction Accident Attorneys  

Regardless of what method your company uses for training, safety training in the construction industry is essential to preventing workplace accidents. Employers who neglect to provide adequate safety training put workers at an unnecessary risk for accidents leading to permanent and life-threatening injuries.  

At the law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, we have been fighting for New York City workers and victims of construction accidents for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious construction injury, our knowledgeable accident attorneys are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation to review your case and your rights.  

Sources 

Gulmapang, Katherine. “Mobile games help employers teach potential recruits about construction safety and building protocols.” Architect. (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://archinect.com/news/article/150175593/mobile-games-help-employers-teach-potential-recruits-about-construction-safety-and-building-protocols 

Rosh, Jennifer M. “Learning through play: a review of the evidence.” Lego Foundation (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1063/learning-through-play_web.pdf 

“Born Out Of Innovative Thinking And An Entrepreneurial Mind.” Simcoach Games. (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://www.simcoachgames.com/about/ 

“Mobile Apps.” American Red Cross. (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps.html 

“There’s a new standard for employee training software.” Connecteam. (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://connecteam.com/employee-training-software/ 

“GAME ON: PLAY OSHA’S NEW INTERACTIVE SAFETY TRAINING WEBTOOL.” Concrete Construction. (Retrieved January 31, 2020) https://www.concreteconstruction.net/business/game-on-play-oshas-new-interactive-safety-training-webtool_c 

Jones, Kendall. “How Technology Is Reshaping the Construction Industry.” Construct Connect. (Retrieved February 3, 2020)https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/technology-reshaping-construction-industry