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Hazard Spotter safety training app

Mobile app brings agricultural-based safety training into the 21st Century.

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.1

Gone are the days of outdated training videos that offer little more than worse-case scenarios and stern acted-out warnings. When it comes to this kind of precautionary training within agriculture, many Millennial workers and grain cooperative employees alike have learned many of their safety tips and techniques from dated films. However, the current technological wave of mobile apps can offer all kinds of training in a myriad of immersive, interactive and engaging ways.

Bringing safety training into this whole era of mobile technology only seemed logical. With this technology now able to produce high-resolution graphics and faster processing in hand-held devices; coupled with an increasingly app-centric lifestyle, Nationwide recognized an underdeveloped market opportunity. Employees and members alike wanted an easier and more modern mode of safety training.

In the spirit of always being by your side, Nationwide has just launched a unique and interactive training app; “Hazard Spotter”. The new mobile application is available for free download to employees and members of the Nationwide agricultural community, exclusively. It goes wherever you need it to. This first-of-its-kind safety app for both iPhone and Android users is designed to educate consumers and workers on the importance of industry regulations, workplace hazards and preventative controls. Helping to save agricultural operations both heartache and headaches is the driving force behind this industry-first roll-out.

Nationwide has worked in conjunction with a tech company and three high-level cooperative members to develop this realistic, first-person view of an employee and requires app users to complete maintenance tasks safely in a grain storage facility.

“The main benefit of this app is that it’s realistic,” said Jason Berkland, a Senior Consultant with Nationwide’s Risk Management Services who helped develop, test and pilot the app. “There are numerous threats to self and company safety every day at these operations. That’s why this takes place in a virtual reality — versus real life.”

Making safety and these critical training points accessible to millennials and all generations at large was always a vision shared by Nationwide. Engage clients and members in a way that makes safety learning a priority rather than just a task to complete. One of the principal contributors in this vision was Key Cooperative in Iowa, and their input ultimately helped Nationwide pilot the app. The company expects about half of its roughly 300 employees to use Hazard Spotter as part of their required training. Of those, about two dozen are millennials.

“I grew up with Atari and Nintendo,” said Ryan Janssen, a 40-year-old Gen Xer who works as the environmental health and safety director at Key Cooperative. “That’s what got me excited about this initially. It teaches our employees the skills we want them to have in a format they are familiar with — and it has the potential to bridge the gap between older and younger generations.”

The training begins in a co-op office, where a player receives work assignments related to a boot pit operation. From there, the user must put on the correct personal protective equipment before advancing deeper inside the co-op to complete multiple tasks.

Scenarios include housekeeping, preventative maintenance, hot work and more. Players are scored on their completion of the task, proper documentation, ability to identify hazards and proper use of equipment.

“This app turns your smartphone into a portable training device,” said Steve Simmons, Associate Vice President for Risk Management at Nationwide. “The goal is to reinforce proper steps learned in training until they become a habit. It may sound easy, but Hazard Spotter intentionally offers wrong tools and equipment based on real-life claims. Our hope is that if users are going to make mistakes, they make them in the app, not in real-life.”

Hazard Spotter is available for free download to all Nationwide agribusiness customers, regardless of their age. Watch a demo.

To use the app, register for a Hazard Spotter player account with an e-mail address and password.

Hazard Spotter App Registration

After registration, download the Hazard Spotter app for iPhone or Android.

Nationwide customers can log in to MyNSightOnline to access additional risk management tools, resources, training and worker’s compensation information developed specifically for farmers and ranchers. Simply visit www.nwfarmsignup.com to log in or click “Sign up for account access.” For help signing up, contact the Farm Service Center at 1-800-418-3188.

To learn more about Nationwide farm insurance and other commercial coverages, visit Nationwide.com/agribusiness. To find a local Nationwide agent, visit FarmAgentFinder.com.

[1] A.M. Best, 2015 DWP