OSHA Hazard Identification Training Tool A Game? Yes.

Sep 29, 2016

The Surprising OSHA Game That’s Actually Fun

You might actually find yourself playing this just to try for a high score. I’m not kidding. For the sake of accurate reporting, I forced myself to test out this OSHA Hazard Identification Training Tool. I even forced myself to test it more than once after I managed to crash my profits on the first try. This was solely for testing purposes and had nothing to do with being annoyed about losing.

OSHA training tool showing a simulated factory work environment

Apparently, someone at OSHA is a fan of farm or city management games, because their Hazard Identification Training Tool is really a time and resource game. This OSHA training tool focuses on three different workplaces: construction, manufacturing, and an emergency room. Most relevant for most of the companies we work with would be manufacturing, which allows you to play as either an owner or a worker in a facility that manufactures metal parts.

OSHA Training Tool Simulates Realistic Company Challenges

In the game… err, OSHA training tool … you are challenged to balance profit and safety. You have a certain number of points to spend each week on safety tasks like inspecting machines, interviewing workers, and doing research. Any points you do not use contribute to your profit. However, major safety failures also wreck your profits, so you have to make your safety investments wisely.

Wait a minute. A government agency actually recognizes that companies have to balance their safety efforts with trying to make a living?

Yes, it seems like they do. And this game provides a lot of information, with each safety step you choose getting a rating of the hazard and a choice of whether or not to spend safety points fixing it. Since there are far more possible hazards than you have safety points for each week, you have no choice but to prioritize which safety issues to deal with first and which can probably wait.

Wait another minute. They’re not telling you that you have to fix all the hazards right this minute?

No. This OSHA training tool requires you to budget both time and money. It sounds almost like real life. Fixing hazards will cost money. An incident because of a safety hazard you didn’t fix will also cost money.

Keep Safety in the Green

OSHA training tool showing an incident reported with cost impacts

(Mark made it out OK this time, but it still took a chunk out of my profits.)

Some safety issues you’re presented with in the game are very simple to fix, like rearranging power cords so they’re not where people can trip over them. Others are more complicated, like installing machine guards, and some go all the way up to replacing broken machinery or installing engineering controls (such as a dust and fume collection system).

The best choices keep both your safety rating and your profit margin in the green. And some of them even make your job easier.


Talking to workers about the things they’re concerned about makes you better at finding hazards, so you can turn more points into profit. Workers will even report things to you so you can fix them, which is easier than finding them yourself.


(Uh-oh… there’s apparently a hazard in the stamping area. The folks in the receiving area are pretty happy, though.)

Some of the hazards you find are minor, and some aren’t. Each of them costs money to fix but improves your safety rating. You can visually inspect a machine, watch people using it, or check the owner’s manual. You spend your money repairing exposed electrical wiring, putting up new shelving to store boxes properly, or fixing the air quality control in the paint booth. Or you can just tell them to quit playing football in the loading dock.

And best of all, how can anyone complain that OSHA training on hazard assessment is a waste of time? Clearly, this is valuable information.

Now, if they’d just improve the graphics a little… Find it here: https://www.osha.gov/hazfinder/