Slip Simulator Teaches Workers How To Walk - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Slip Simulator Teaches Workers How To Walk

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Workers from the Hanford site will go through a new class the HAMMER Training Facility in the next few months. As strange as it sounds, they'll be learning how to walk.

"Basically a tile floor that has a super slick surface put on it - it's pledge. And then there's shoe's strapped on your feet that have little Teflon buttons. Between the buttons and the tile and the pledge, it becomes an extremely slick surface," said Paul Kruger of Mission Support Alliance.

Training at HAMMER is real world experience. Safety standards can be taught out of a textbook but unless you experience it, you may not truly understand it.

The Slip Simulator gained notoriety after UPS picked it up for their training purposes. Their slips and falls on the job dropped significantly after the men in brown were trained on the device.

"You'll develop the techniques efficiently that you'll be able to not fall as you walk across this and then hopefully when you're out in that icy environment, either at work or at home. You're not going to fall because you know the techniques," Kruger said.

"Employees are working under a lot of different conditions. They may be working on water pipelines or all sorts of different things so there's lots of situations where they can certainly easily get hurt if they're not thinking about safety first," said Karen Flynn of Mission Support Alliance.

The Slip Simulator's main goal is to promote safety on site but it's actually a cost saving measure, as well. Kruger said slips and falls are pretty common for Hanford workers. It's something they see about every other week.

"We have the down time of the individual if they're hurt, not being at work and then we also have the cost associated with dealing with the case and the treatments and everything that occurs with the case," Kruger said.

The estimated cost for a fall claim is between 15 and 20 thousand dollars. The Slip Simulator itself cost $20,000.