Alcoa co-creates safety tool for industrial loading docks

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

Alcoa, a world leader in safety performance, announced March 5 that it has teamed with Etcetera Edutainment in Pittsburgh to develop a cutting-edge safety training tool that uses gaming technology to simulate hazards associated with operating mobile equipment in a manufacturing environment.

"As a worldwide leader in safety, Alcoa relentlessly searches for pioneering ways to reinforce its safety messages with employees," said Mohammad Zaidi, executive vice president, Market Strategy, Technology and Quality, Alcoa. "When we look ahead to tomorrow’s generation of employees, we know that they will be used to interacting through computers and will have grown up in the era of video games, the Internet and virtual environments. Using this technology is an opportunity to engage them while communicating our important safety message."

Alcoa SafeDock is a highly interactive, three-dimensional, professional training simulation that gives employees a realistic and fun way to learn safety procedures in a loading dock environment. Unlike traditional training, Alcoa SafeDock lets the participant get behind the wheel, virtually, in simulated scenarios.

"Our research shows that simulation exercises improve learning retention and increase knowledge transfer because they are visually engaging and provide hands-on experiences," said Jessica Trybus, founder and CEO, Etcetera Edutainment. "Alcoa SafeDock will provide employees with the opportunity to navigate a virtual, customized environment and react in real-time to people and events around them. People retain and understand more from interactive simulations than they do from passive instruction such as lectures or trying to absorb lengthy manuals."

Alcoa SafeDock is designed to be an engaging and effective immersive virtual training solution that is meant to increase the knowledge and skill retained by trainees.

"Because it’s a virtual environment, everyone ultimately walks away injury-free – despite the error traps and latent conditions embedded in the training tool to represent potential hazards one might encounter in a real-life scenario. The game essentially helps the player develop a better understanding of how to identify hazards and respond accordingly," said Jeffrey A. Shockey, corporate safety director, Alcoa. "This innovative approach allows employees to experience simulated hazards without jeopardizing their safety or those around them."

According to Jamie Mackay, the Alcoa project leader, Alcoa SafeDock is being developed to supplement, not replace, existing classroom safety training at Alcoa business locations. As many as five loading dock employees and one trainer will use the tool on a network of computers. Following a team exercise, each player will be provided with a report of the safety hazards encountered.

Alcoa SafeDock will be piloted at Alcoa businesses in Pennsylvania this spring, with the goal of launching the simulation throughout Alcoa operating locations worldwide.

About Alcoa:
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa wheels and Baco household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 123,000 employees in 44 countries.

About Etcetera Edutainment:
Closely allied with Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, a world leader in engaging computer-based education, Etcetera builds on cutting-edge work and the latest technological advances. Our customers benefit from the most realistic, effective technologies that provide state-of-the-art safety training experiences with unparalleled effectiveness. More information can be found at

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