Hazard Identification Training Tool

Table of Contents

  • Overview
    • Hazard Identification for Leadership
      • How To Play as Owner: Basics
    • Hazard Identification for Workers
      • How To Play as Worker: Basics
  • Tools
    • Collect Information
    • Inspect and Observe
    • Involve Workers
    • Investigate Incidents
    • Prioritize
    • How to Play as Owner: Strategy
    • How to Play as Worker: Strategy
  • Cost Numbers
  • Scenarios
    • Manufacturing
    • Construction
    • Healthcare

OSHA's Hazard Identification Training Tool


Hazard identification is a key part of any injury and illness prevention program within a business (especially small and medium sized companies). If hazards aren't identified, then they can't be mitigated properly. This tool is designed to help company leadership as well as workers practice more effectively identifying hazards.

Hazard Identification for Leadership

Although the upper management of a company may not be involved in day-to-day operations, management leadership (along with worker participation) is essential to ensuring that all hazards are identified and addressed. However, not all leaders are comfortable with the basics of hazard identification.

The OSHA Hazard Identification Training Tool (Play as Owner mode) is a game, aimed at entrepreneurs and managers, in which players practice identifying and prioritizing various workplace hazards. The game presents five generalized elements of a hazard identification program and a set of scenarios targeting different industries. Using hazard identification process fundamentals from the game, it is possible to apply safe work practices in any setting.

How To Play as Owner: Basics


  • Maximize your profit in 20 weeks.


  • Click & drag with the mouse to move around, viewing different areas within the factory.
  • Click on equipment, areas and people to use your hazard identification tools to uncover hazards in the factory.
  • Use the Hazard Log (tab at the bottom of the screen) to prioritize and mitigate the hazards you have found.
  • Click End Week to convert your remaining hours to profit and move to the next week.
  • You will receive updates in between each week detailing your activities.
  • You will receive a summary of your performance after 20 weeks.

Hazard Identification for Workers

While workers are often experts in their own part of the business, they may not be comfortable with the basics of hazard identification in any area. Understanding a generic hazard identification process can be the first step on the way to a safer workplace.

The OSHA Hazard Identification Training Tool (Play as Worker mode) is a game, aimed at workers, in which players practice identifying various workplace hazards. The game presents three generalized elements of a hazard identification program. Using hazard identification process fundamentals from the game, it is possible to apply safe work practices in any setting.

How To Play as Worker: Basics


  • Find as many hazards as possible with only 10 actions.


  • Click on equipment, areas and people to use your hazard identification tool actions to uncover hazards in the factory.
  • You will receive a summary of your performance after you have used 10 actions.


Hazard identification can be broken into five key elements, four categories of identification tools and the prioritization step. Use the four types of tools to continuously identify hazards in your workplace. Once you have a list of hazards, continually evaluate and prioritize that list based on severity and exposure, mitigating as many hazards as possible.

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Collect Information

Review all information you may already have available to find hazards that have already been identified by others.

  • Equipment manuals
  • Safety data sheets
  • Inspection reports
  • Insurance reports
  • Past incident data
  • Relevant OSHA data
  • Consultation reports

OSHA Resources

Hazard Communication
OSHA Website
Onsite Consultations

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Inspect and Observe

Inspect equipment and work areas when not in operation, using common sense and drawing on the knowledge of the operators to identify potential hazards. Be sure to observe processes in action as well; doing so may uncover additional hazards that would not be otherwise obvious.

OSHA Resources

Inspection Detail Definitions
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Small Business Handbook

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Involve Workers

Often, talking to your workers and listening to their feedback is the most effective way to quickly find hazards. Be sure to stay engaged with them and listen closely, as they may not always know that they are describing a hazard.

OSHA Resources

OSHA Technical Manual (OTM)

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Investigate Incidents

Although our goal is zero incidents, when one happens, it is important to take that as an opportunity to learn about hazards that may have been overlooked. Investigate to find true root causes and address systemic issues.

OSHA Resources

Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summaries
1904.39, Reporting Fatalities and Multiple Hospitalization Incidents

Note: Anyone needing to report an emergency, fatality, or imminent life threatening situation, please contact OSHA's toll-free number immediately: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).


Evaluate the hazards you have identified and mitigate the most hazardous first. Hazards can be assessed both in terms of severity (how bad is the potential outcome) and exposure (how likely is an occurrence). Typically, a combination of these two factors plays into the prioritization of mitigations. For the purpose of the Hazard Identification Training Tool game, details about mitigations and controls are not included or referenced.

OSHA Resources

Job Hazard Analysis

How to Play as Owner: Strategy

  • It is important to divide and balance your time between the three things you can spend your hours on:
    • Hazard Identification
    • Hazard Mitigation
    • Making Profit
  • Earn profit each turn based on your hours remaining ($800/hour).
    • Don't forget to leave some hours each week for profit.
  • Money will be deducted from profit when hazards result in incidents.
    • You will lose some profit immediately (direct costs) and more over the following turns (indirect costs).
  • Prevent incidents by mitigating hazards.
    • Remember that hazards can return (and will have to be identified again) when their mitigations expire. Note: Hazards in the game will reappear in order to model the on-going nature of hazard identification activities. The timing of hazard recurrence in-game may not accurately reflect the complex relationship of hazards and mitigations in the real world.
  • Your workers are a good source of information about hazards.
    • They have a good understanding of what’s going on around them.
  • Staying engaged with your workers can have additional benefits.
    • If you do a good job of constantly involving employees (and listening to them by mitigating hazards), they will take on the safety culture and contribute to the process.
  • Minimal management involvement can have unintended consequences.
    • If you remain hands-off, the safety culture can wither, increasing the likelihood of incidents.
  • If you don't mitigate any hazards, you will likely end up in debt.
  • If you play well, you can end up with over $250,000. How much can you earn?

How to Play as Worker: Strategy

  • It is important to balance your actions between the three types of hazard identification actions:
    • Collect Information
      • Reading manuals and safety data sheets
    • Inspect and Observe
      • Doing both visual inspections and process observations
    • Involve Workers
      • Talking to co-workers who know the ins-and-outs of each part of the process
  • Balance your actions between the different pieces of equipment, workers and the area itself.
  • You should be able to easily identify at least 10 hazards. How many can you find?

Cost Numbers

Potential Cost Savings and Incident Cost numbers used in this game are based on the information in OSHA's $afety Pays etool.

Direct injury costs include:

  • Workers' compensation benefits paid for all compensable injuries and illnesses; and
  • A workers' compensation claims-handling and administrative fee (applicable in certain jurisdictions).

Indirect injury costs include:

  • Any wages paid to injured workers for absences not covered by workers' compensation;
  • The wage costs related to time lost through work stoppage associated with the worker injury;
  • The overtime costs necessitated by the injury;
  • Administrative time spent by supervisors, safety personnel, and clerical workers after an injury;
  • Training costs for a replacement worker;
  • Lost productivity related to work rescheduling, new employee learning curves, and accommodation of injured employees; and
  • Clean-up, repair, and replacement costs of damaged material, machinery, and property.

Additional real-world injury costs not used in this hazard identification product include:

  • The costs of OSHA fines and any associated legal action;
  • Third-party liability and legal costs;
  • Worker pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of goodwill from bad publicity.


OSHA's Hazard Identification Training Tool game contains multiple scenarios in which to practice using the hazard identification process outlined above. Below are descriptions and explanations for each currently available scenario. Additionally, OSHA resources specific to each scenario can be found below.

"You are the head of Amalgamated Polyscientific Enterprises International, a company that manufactures parts for next-generation hovercrafts..."

The manufacturing scenario is intended to cover an abstracted generic manufacturing process similar to an auto-parts plant. Materials come in through the receiving dock, cycle through storage, shearing, stamping, and finishing before leaving through the shipping dock.

Below are some resources relevant specifically to the Manufacturing Scenario.

OSHA Resources


"You are a supervisor working for Four Twelve Construction, a general contractor. You are overseeing the construction of a convenience store..."

The construction scenario is intended to cover an abstracted generic construction process for small commercial buildings similar to a convenience store. Activities proceed from start to finish, and the environment is quite dynamic.

Below are some resources relevant specifically to the Construction Scenario.

OSHA Resources

"You are the head of Sacred Heart Hospital, a mid-sized ER operating in the middle of the suburbs. Your goal is to keep the ER's budget high and ensure that your workers remain safe from day to day..."

The healthcare scenario is intended to cover the general operations of an emergency department in a small to mid-size hospital. Patients come in through the Waiting Area or the Ambulance Entrance and are seen in Triage. They are then moved to Trauma, Treatment or Isolation Rooms.

Below are some resources relevant specifically to the Healthcare Scenario.

OSHA Resources


OSHA Occupational Chemical Database
Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning Chemicals
Cleaning Chemicals and Your Health
Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008


Computer Workstations
Computer Workstations eTool
Working Safely with Video Display Terminals
Easy Ergonomics For Desktop Computer Users
Workstation Adjustments For Comfort and Safety
Video Display Terminal Guidelines
Ergonomics at Work
Evaluating Your Computer Workstation
Computer Keyboards & Video Display Terminals


Beyond Getting Started
Patient Handling and Movement Assessments
A Back Injury Prevention Guide
Safe Patient Handling and Movement
Safe Patient Handling Training for Schools of Nursing
Safe Patient Handling and Movement Principles
Ergonomics at Work
Safe Patient Handling
Handle With Care
Solutions to Control Hazards
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Laundry: Lifting/Pushing Hazards
Ergonomic Interventions by Industry


Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities
Worker Safety in Hospitals
Hospital eTool
Guidelines for Protecting the Safety and Health of Health Care Workers
Home Healthcare
Nursing Homes and Personal Care Facilities
Grant Materials: Health Care
Improving Patient and Worker Safety
CDC - Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
CDC - Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
CDC - Healthcare Workers


Biological Agents
Preparation and Planning for Bioterrorism Emergencies
Workplace Safety and the Flu


Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention
Bloodborne Pathogens
Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C
Preventing Needlesticks and Sharps Injuries


Latex Allergy
Potential for Sensitization and Possible Allergic Reaction To Natural Rubber Latex Gloves and Other Natural Rubber Products
Latex Allergy A Prevention Guide
Personal Protective Equipment
(Lack of) Personal Protective Equipment
Eye Protection for Infection Control
Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers Training Video
Recommendations for the Selection and Use of Respirators and Protective Clothing for Protection Against Biological Agents
Respirator Cleaning Procedures (Mandatory)


Slips, Trips and Falls eTool


Hazard of Laser Surgery Smoke
Control of Smoke From Laser/Electric Surgical Procedures
Laser Plume in Surgical Procedures
Waste Anesthetic Gases
Radiological Worker Training Guide
Ionizing Radiation
Radiation Safety
Ionizing Radiation and Diagnostic Examinations
Hazardous Drugs
Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic Agents
Work Precautions for Handling Hazardous Drugs Highlighted by NIOSH, OSHA, Joint Commission
NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings 2012
Hazardous Drug Exposures in Health Care


Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers
Workplace Violence


Preventing Backovers
Compressed Gas Safety Guide
Compressed Gas Safety General Safety Guidelines
Hospital Investigations: Health Hazards
Emergency Washing Facilities
Fire Safety
Healthcare Wide Hazards: Fire
Emergency Preparedness