It’s one of those subjects that we know is essential, and potentially life or limb saving, but is highly unlikely to be fun or engaging. Especially if you have attended the same course over a number of years.
I was fortunate to meet someone a couple weeks ago who thought the same — and he’s done something about it.
Kevin McGrath is the founder of CareTrain, an innovative company based in the Midlands, where he has developed SafetySmart.
He spent 25 years as a health and safety manager and trainer in the construction industry. So he understands that hearing the same thing every year in the same way doesn’t always result in improvements in the accident rate.
He witnessed accidents that could have been avoided with better health and safety awareness. The training that was meant to prevent the accidents actually contributed to them because it was so dry and so dull that no one took any notice — they weren’t learning anything.
Feeling compelled to do something about it, Kevin came up with a fun and interactive way of delivering health and safety training.
Game based learning is proven to enhance learning outcomes in all sorts of environments. It promotes a sense of ownership and engagement in the learner and encourages them to continue learning because the activity is actually fun and rewarding to do.
Online learning is routinely enhanced nowadays with video game style interaction and engagement. This process is often referred to as Gamification, but it isn’t a new technology, we have been playing board games since the beginning of time. The sort we might have last tried at school or during a contentious game of Monopoly with the family at Christmas.
Kevin spent several years developing his Health and Safety board game. It is a large playing board with some decks of question cards. Learners can play individually or in groups. Each takes their turn around the board by throwing dice, and then they pick a card from the deck based on where their playing piece lands.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The group then answers the question, and it can be displayed on a screen or a wall using a projector to let everyone take part.
Kevin told me that the learners who have tried the game at some of the companies already using it had so much fun that they couldn’t wait to do it again. When was the last time you heard someone say that after a health and safety course!
SafetySmart is now being used by several businesses in the UK, and Kevin is in discussions with some international businesses who are keen to trial the game in local language versions.
A key area of interest is the ability to customise the board and its questions for individual customers, with questions and branding that are specific to their internal business policies.
We’re working on integrating SafetySmart into Qintil. If you’d like to be one of the first to try it, let us know.