The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the winners of its Worker Safety and Health App Challenge. The contest awarded prizes to online tools that demonstrate the importance of recognizing workplace safety, preventing health hazards and educating young workers on their rights, according to a statement released last week by the DOL.
“The winning entries place new technologies in the hands of young workers and their employers, making safety and health resources even more accessible,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Every app submitted was designed for internet browsers, smartphones and social media platforms, or as applications for Windows or Macintosh. A panel of judges selected winners in three categories:
Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award
The University of Tennessee’s Construction Industry Research and Policy Center and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering won a $15,000 grand prize for their “Working Safely Is No Accident” website. The site is designed to teach workers ages 13 to 24 about occupational hazards. It provides safety tips on a variety of topics, an educational game and information about workers’ rights.
Safety and Health Data Award
The $6,000 prize was awarded to the United Steelworkers union for its USW Chemical Safety app that allows users to research a material safety data sheets database for information on workplace exposure limits, health hazards, workplace controls, personal protective equipment (PPE), handling and storage, and emergency procedures related to hazardous substances.
Workers’ Rights Award
The Montana State Fund won $6,000 for its No Jack -Young Workers’ Safety Campaign website, which targets workers between the ages of 16 and 24 and their employers. The site features insight on fostering a culture of workplace safety, co-worker respect, compensation rights and measuring safety and prevention efforts.
People’s Choice Award
The DOL opened up a portion of the contest to the public by letting people vote on a site or app on the challenge website. The $3,000 prize went to app designer Sidharth Garg for his Ergonomics iOS app for mobile devices. The tool provides users with information on ergonomic safety, workplace-specific stretching exercises and programmable reminders to take breaks to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
These tools are great resources for business owners, who may consider reviewing them and sharing them with managers and employees to educate and promote workplace safety.