January 16, 2013
The U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C., has announced the winners of its Worker Safety and Health App Challenge. Prizes totaling $30,000 are being awarded to four entrants who submitted tools that best demonstrate the importance of recognizing and preventing workplace safety and health hazards and help young people understand their rights in the workplace. Submissions were designed for Internet browsers, smartphones, feature phones, and social media platforms, or as native Windows® or Macintosh® applications.
The panel of judges, including co-hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show "MythBusters,"Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, selected winners from 20 finalists. A People's Choice Award was given to the entry that received the most public votes on the challenge website.
A website developed by the University of Tennessee Construction Industry Research and Policy Center and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering received the Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award, a $15,000 grand prize. The website is designed to offer workers, primarily those ages 13 to 24, accessible information on common workplace hazards and workers’ rights to a safe workplace.
The United Steelworkers union won the $6,000 Safety and Health Data Award for its USW Chemical Safety application that allows users to search an MSDS database for information on workplace exposure limits, health hazards, workplace controls, PPE, handling and storage, and emergency procedures related to hazardous substances in the workplace.
The $6,000 Workers' Rights Award went to the No Jack —Young Workers' Safety Campaign website developed by the Montana State Fund (the state's largest workers' compensation insurer). The youth-focused website expands the reach of MSF's safety and health message to a target audience of workers ages 16 to 24 by educating them and their employers about workers' rights to a safe and healthful workplace.
Sidharth Garg won the $3,000 People's Choice Award for his Ergonomics iOS application. This mobile workplace health application offers ergonomic equipment setup advice, a variety of workplace-specific stretching exercises, and programmable reminders to help time breaks and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.