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RiskSpotter - a risk awareness training tool

This project will develop and test a risk awareness training tool: RiskSpotterTM Hazard ID*.

The training tool is a game designed for mobile tablets, with data being stored in the cloud.

How the training works

The training game involves a series of real-life workplace situational photos, where participants are asked to identify a range of hazards. The game is customisable allowing samples of your own workplace to be used.

Participants interact with the game by touching the screen where they see examples of workplace hazards, collecting points for correct answers and notifications for hazards that they have missed.

The game proceeds with a multiple choice questionnaire that asks the participant to identify the correct procedures to manage and address the hazards. Short instructional videos can also be uploaded to the game. These can be used to demonstrate the correct way to perform specific tasks.

Final scores are loaded into a training matrix for each participant. The results can be imported into individual organisations’ training matrices. The aim of the training game is to have participants play the game regularly and to engage in different scenarios and be exposed to a wide-range of hazards.

Research questions

  • What impact does hazard identification training using a mobile tablet application have on improving worker’s ability to identify and address hazards?
  • What impact does the delivery of hazard identification training using a tablet application have on work health and safety performance in organisations?

Research methods

This is a mixed methods study using statistical data together with a detailed narrative to understand how the tablet application is viewed and used to improve work health and safety performance.

Phase 1: Chief Investigator, Sue Bahn, together with: Australian Contract Mining, Central Institute of Technology, KIS Safety and a commercial application designer Blond Gorilla will develop five typical workplace scenarios into a prototype tablet application. The scenarios will be based on photographs supplied by Australian Contract Mining and will be edited to contain several examples of obvious and hidden workplace hazards, e.g. trip hazards.

The RiskSpotter application will be designed as a game to encourage workers to find as many obvious and hidden hazards in each picture as possible and to provide information on how best to address these hazards according to work health and safety requirements.

Five pictures will be developed into three versions of the game and distributed to workers in months three, six and nine of the study. It is expected that this activity will occur at induction and as part of pre-shift safety meetings arranged by Australian Contract Mining.

Worker performance data will be collected and analysed after each distribution for proficiency in identifying and knowledge on addressing hazards as evidenced by their scored assessment after playing the game.

Phase 2: 20 semi-structured face-to-face/telephone interviews with shift bosses and managers will be undertaken during months 3-5 and 6-8 of the study to determine any changes in behaviour of the group using the RiskSpotter and any refinements required to improve the delivery and training content.

The workers using the application during the first deployment will be surveyed after use, to determine their perception of the application in terms of effectiveness, useability and positive/negative reactions to the tool (up to 300 completed surveys). The project reference group will be consulted to ensure alignment to Australian Quality Framework requirements and industry needs.

Phase 3: De-identified pre and post internal incident reports across the three mine sites will be analysed for trends, rates of injury, types of incidents, worker roles, gender, age, location, time of occurrence, etc.

Internal reports for the 12 months prior to the introduction of the RiskSpotter will be compared to incident reports collected during the twelve month study to determine the number of incidents recorded. Lost time, medically treated and first aid injury reports will be examined along with equipment and environmental damage reports to determine the impact on the organisation’s health and safety performance.

Phase 4: Incident pre and post data, the themes emerging from the interviews and how Australian Contract Mining addressed the implementation of the RiskSpotter and workers with poor hazard identification skills will be written up as a business case illustrating the effectiveness, applicability and useability of tablet tools to support training in hazard identification.

A final report will be produced and distributed to the industry partners and the media and used to apply for a Commercialisation Australia grant to develop skills and knowledge and proof of concept for wider industry distribution.


  • Dr Susanne Bahn, Chief Investigator

Industry partners

  • Australian Contract Mining
  • Central Institute of Technology
  • KIS Safety

Advisory Group

  • Australian Contract Mining personnel
  • KIS Safety personnel
  • Central Institute of Technology personnel
  • Professor Craig Standing, Director, ECU Centre for Innovative Practice
  • Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention and SkillsDMC representatives

Funding body

  • Edith Cowan University, Industry Collaboration Grant


August 2013 - August 2014

* Patent pending.

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