Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.
As important as OSHA training is for general construction safety awareness, sitting in a classroom or online course and merely watching a lecture and answering some test questions really leaves a lot to be desired. Construction workers, by trade and training, are extremely hands-on people. Not only that, but it’s very important to give real world situations to magnify the lessons taught in training, instead of merely regurgitating the lessons taught in training. That’s where technology can play a huge role.
Whereas setting up a real-world fall protection situation can be costly to fund and impractical, apps and games can do a good job of reinforcing the point and putting decisions in the hands of the trainee. Virtual reality games have begun to hit the scene in recent years, but they can be a bit costly for small and medium sized companies, though they’re a very immersive tool that will definitely leave a lasting impression.
Harness Hero is a free app, available on Android, Apple, and Amazon app stores that reinforces selecting correct anchor points, the correct fall protection system, and inspection procedures for construction workers. Game programmer Simcoach Games partnered with the Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania and the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania to produce the game.
While construction safety professionals were consulted in making the game, the app is still best used as a reinforcement to more formal training, as opposed to the only training an employee receives.
In addition to Harness Hero, a second app called Harness Hero: Bridge Edition is available for those working on infrastructure jobs. Simcoach Games also has an extensive list of other construction and construction safety related games for all ages in their Skill Arcade, including dozer, excavator, tower crane, construction management, traffic control, lift plan, and ladder safety games. Many of those games were produced in partnership with OSHA and AGC, among others.