Alcoa Chooses A High-Tech Approach To Safety

Company uses a simulation tool to help employees see potential hazards firsthand.

Which would you rather have, a video game or a 3,000 page safety manual? It’s a no-brainer.

And that is why Alcoa said Monday that it joined Etcetera Edutainment to create a safety tool that uses simulations to teach employees how to stay safe.

The tool, Alcoa SafeDock, anticipates the technology-savvy workers of tomorrow and lets the employees see potential hazards that they might encounter in real-life scenarios. After all, a virtual broken leg is much easier to take care of than a real one.

“When we look ahead to tomorrow’s generation of employees, we know that they will be used to interacting through computers and will have grown up in the era of video games, the Internet and virtual environments,” said Mohammad Zaidi, executive vice president, Market Strategy, Technology and Quality, Alcoa. “Using this technology is an opportunity to engage them while communicating our important safety message.”

And while an employee may not get much further than the manual’s table of contents, Etcetera believes the virtual safety tool will help employees retain more information, which is the point, isn’t it?

“Our research shows that simulation exercises improve learning retention and increase knowledge transfer because they are visually engaging and provide hands-on experiences,” said Jessica Trybus, founder and CEO of Etcetera Edutainment.  

The tool will be piloted at Alcoa businesses in Pennsylvania this spring and is designed to supplement existing safety courses. Following its trial in Pennsylvania, Alcoa hopes to have employees playing their video games worldwide.

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