Using gaming to prevent workplace deaths

Haim Srur  photo courtesy Go-Arc

Go-Arc's work safety system is based on stimulation and incentives.

Every 90 minutes, somewhere in the world, someone is killed in a work accident, and in that same period of time thousands more non-fatal accidents occur, causing injuries. The figures are provided by Israeli company Go-Arc, which has developed a platform for preventing work accidents, and which this week signed a strategic collaboration agreement with German safety inspection company Dekra. Accidents in Israel's construction industry are a burning issue, because of the high number of fatal casualties, but work accidents happen everywhere in the world, in all branches of industry.

Under the agreement, Go-Arc will provide the technological infrastructure for Dekra's products. Go-Arc sees the agreement generating revenue of $1 million in 2018. Last year, the company raised NIS 1.5 million. Among the investors are Nir Gilad and Yodfat Harel-Buchris, and other prominent figures from Israeli industry.

"No solutions exist for preventing work accidents; all the existing solutions are intended to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements," says Go-Arc co-founder and COO Haim Srur. "90% of accidents are the result of human error," he continues, "and we still have not found a way of influencing human behavior in real time."

Go-Arc has developed a cloud-based system designed to turn the safety routine in factories and work sites into something dynamic. Srur says that the main cause of work accidents is what is known as "the knowledge-doing gap". "There's a gap between what is supposed to be done and what is actually done. The classic example of that is the safety video on flights that no-one has paid attention to for years."

Therefore, Srur says, the system adds to the safety routine elements from behavioral economics. "We introduced into the safety routine that exists in every enterprise elements that break up routine and arouse interest. The warnings and modes of operation will change from one day to the next. An employee will not be able to fill out a safety checklist automatically, because the order of the questions or the type of questions will be different each day. The system will actively make recommendations for managers' morning inspection rounds based on analysis of the actual risks and hazards in the various parts of the factory.

"In addition, there are gamification elements," says Srur. "For example, we provide incentives for users and give them points for reports. The system also knows automatically whether to insert certain incidents into the routine safety briefings, and if an incident you have reported is used for training purposes, the system awards you points. Employees thus accumulate points, enjoy the process, and feel that they have an impact on what happens in the company."

The platform computes the total risk that each worker is exposed to according to five criteria: person, activity, location, tools, and materials. "On the basis of these criteria, we are able to produce a map of risks. Initially, we can predict the chance of an accident. In the next stage, we will suggest how to deal with it. The first stage is already developed, and has been sold to industrial enterprises in Israel and around the world. In our first year of sales we booked orders worth $1 million. The second stage is now undergoing testing," Srur says.

Since workers in industry do not necessarily speak the local language, Go-Arc's system adapts itself to the language of the user. "What's great about our system," Srur adds, "is that there is very little verbiage and a great deal of visual content, a global language that helps workers to understand the subject in a simple and easy manner, and to proceed with the work efficiently."

The company was founded in 2015 by Dror Barak, an expert in spatial learning, and Srur, formerly a vice president at Oil Refineries, Alvarion, and Teva. Srur says that his work experience influenced Go-Arc's development. "In my time at Oil Refineries there were no fatal accidents, but clearly the encounter with such things, for example in a visit to the annual memorial ceremony in families devastated by an accident, leaves a very strong impression. You realize the effect that accidents have, not just in cases of death, but in cases of loss of capacity to work as well. I worked at plants of Oil Refineries and Teva. In my view, they represent high-quality treatment of safety, but I was exposed the dangerous elements of their activities, and through that process I was exposed to what exists on the market as far as solutions are concerned. That's one reason that I'm here."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 23, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Haim Srur  photo courtesy Go-Arc
Haim Srur photo courtesy Go-Arc
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