DIGITAL ROLE-PLAYING ASSISTS APPRENTICES WITH OHS

At the National Health and Safety Conference last month, Professor Helen Lingard, a leading workplace health and safety researcher from RMIT University, discussed how role-playing games (RPGs) can help apprentices develop better communication skills to address safety concerns.

Prof Lingard detailed how her team developed a digital game based on apprentices' real-life experiences, allowing players to navigate difficult conversations with supervisors and make choices that impact outcomes. The game aims to improve workers' ability to speak up about safety issues and intervene if they see unsafe behaviour. Funded by icare NSW, it targets young construction workers in NSW and Victoria.

Lingard emphasizes the importance of positive communication between young workers and supervisors for mental health and wellbeing. Results showed that apprentices found the game useful and expressed willingness to apply the lessons learned in their workplaces. The digital intervention is scalable and accessible, making it easier for workers to participate compared to traditional role-playing methods.

The game also showed significant benefits for supervisors, who said playing it helped them relate to young workers, having forgotten ‘what it's like to be a young person.’

Lingard's team is now recruiting organisations interested in implementing role-playing games in their workplaces.

Source: https://dro.deakin.edu.au/articles/journal_contribution/Supportive_communication_between_apprentices_and_supervisors_development_of_a_digital_role_play_game/25769895/1

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