Slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, heavy lifting, loud noises and working alone are some of the dangers teens face as they take that first job or seasonal employment. These dangers can lead to fatalities and serious injury if workers are not aware of them and how to protect themselves against being injured on the job. To help teens stay safe at work, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) launched an interactive online computer game called “Don’t be a Zombie at Work” and to illustrate how occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals are key to staying safe.
Located at http://www.dontbeazombieatwork.org, the new ASSE game is free and features the imaginary evil “BodgeDab” industries. 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 a mysterious corporation that has just moved into a large city, led by reputed evil boss Damballa Bokor, and opening businesses all over town. At the same time, the people working at these establishments are becoming “unnatural” -- zombie like. 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 – 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 the dangerous and underlying dangers of BodgeDab industries. Just a call away, Elle and a team of safety professionals provide the player with clues on how to prevent workplace hazards, save the zombies and stop the dreaded BodgeDab industries.
In addition to Elle and the safety professionals, the player has several tools that can be moved to a tool box/inventory to fix the hazardous situations in each level. Instructions are provided throughout the game as are quizzes.
The “Don’t be a Zombie at Work” game, developed by ASSE members, is another tool ASSE has created and made available to its members and the public in an effort to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. The other free young worker tools include the “Be Safe At Work: Tips for Teens” book mark and the brochures titled “Important Workplace Safety Guide for Young Workers” and “Preventing Roadway Crashes” available by contacting ASSE at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-699-2929.
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. Nationally, about 230,000 teens suffer work-related injuries, with most of those injuries occurring in the retail or service industries, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 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.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest and largest safety society. Its 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information, go to www.asse.org/newsroom or to http://www.dontbeazombieatwork.org.