Mobile Learning and Mobile Apps: Creating a safety app for a utility company

Mobile Learning and Mobile Apps

Line workers at a regional utility experienced multiple serious injuries and a half dozen deaths in the span of just six months. Something in the safety training wasn’t working, but company officials had no idea what it was. During my training analysis I found the existing training wasn’t the problem at all; it was the job aids, which were boring and bulky! Up until recently, experienced line workers were paired with “newbies” to walk the new hires through the first several major line repairs. But a problem was developing in the industry: experienced utility workers at the company were retiring in record numbers, leaving no one to do the on-the-job mentoring and oversight. (This is a problem nationwide, as the average U.S. utility worker is close to 50 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) The utility company had developed a large, phone-book-sized job aid for the newbies to take with them on the job. But, let’s be realistic, who is going to haul around such a large job aid? We developed a safety smartphone app whereby workers could select the piece of equipment they were about to repair and answer a series of repair questions via drop-down menus to guide workers to the exact repair procedures they needed to do. When the exact procedure was identified and confirmed, a red pop-up alert reminded workers of the top safety procedures to do before they even began the repairs. Next, the exact step-by-step procedures for the repairs were outlined in the app.

Result: Zero deaths and only four minor worker injuries one year after the smart phone repair app was launched and deployed to workers.

**Other educational apps I have developed or co-developed include a sales training app for a financial services company, and another for sales associates at a spirits and wine distributor.