Zombies are everywhere this season, including online games aimed at teaching teens about being safe at work. Slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, heavy lifting, loud noises, and working alone are some of the dangers teens face as they experience a first job or seasonal employment. If not aware of the risk and properly trained and protected, these dangers can lead to serious injuries or fatalities for teen workers. They could become zombies. That’s where the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Don’t be a Zombie at Work online game can help.
The free Halloween themed game takes players through a variety of workplaces and risks—good and bad—to illustrate how to work safe and not become a zombie; and, how occupational safety, health (SH), and environmental professionals help prevent injuries and illnesses.
The ASSE zombie game features the imaginary evil “BodgeDab” industries. In the game, players help their co-workers avoid becoming “zombies” by finding tools and using information from the game’s SH professionals to stay safe on the job. The game revolves around a mysterious corporation that has just moved into a large city, led by reputed evil boss Damballa Bokor, and is 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 professional, works undercover to help stop BodgeDab industries and inform the player of the risks 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 earlier we can reach people, especially children, on what work safety is and how they can stay safe on the job,” ASSE President-Elect and PR Committee Chair Terrie Norris, ARM, CSP, “the closer we can get to our target of zero workplace fatalities.”
The ‘Don’t be a Zombie at Work’ game is another tool ASSE has created to help spread the word about workplace safety. It is part of a comprehensive ASSE “Target Teen Work Safety” tool kit.
ASSE fact sheets, brochures, researched articles, quizzes, and presentation aids can all be downloaded, printed, and distributed. They can be used for presentations at high schools or community meetings and other uses. ASSE’s “Safety Suitcase” is another tool used to reach young children about what workplace safety is and what SH professionals do every day to protect people, property and the environment.
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).