Saving lives and building bonds: Emergency-ready communities and improved employee relations focus of CSA Standards' new online eLearning gaming solutions



    
    Interactive gaming drives vision to hold workplace eLearning in Canada to
    a higher standard
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - CSA Standards, a leading standards-based
solutions organization, today announces the launch of a suite of interactive
solutions that harness the power of eLearning gaming technology to teach
emergency preparedness, safety and a variety of essential skills that could
mean the difference between life and death on the job for many Canadian
employees.
    Canada alone experiences as many as 315,000 reported time-loss injuries
and 1,055 workplace fatalities in a year(1). CSA's new tools for business are
designed to enhance the abilities of employers, employees, students and
consumers to prepare for threats and emergencies of all sizes, by giving them
the ability to experience them in realistic virtual scenarios - before they
happen in real life.
    "To reduce injuries, workplace training must teach best safety practices
and change behaviour," says Suzanne Kiraly, President, CSA Standards. "These
new interactive modules go well beyond the simple transfer of knowledge and
engage users in making decisions in the workplace that are linked to
real-world standards and safety guidelines. From handling hazardous materials
to assessing risks to prevent major disasters, preparing workforces with
safety and emergency response skills in a virtual environment could mean the
difference between life and death on the job."
    CSA Standards recently purchased the assets and intellectual property
created by Ottawa-based Distil Interactive, an award-winning developer of
eLearning products. This expansion of its interactive online portfolio of
offerings, as well as the hiring of new development staff, will drive CSA's
transition to the next level in fully interactive online learning
environments. The purchase represents a significant milestone for CSA and a
commitment to utilizing technology and developing products to ensure that
standards for safety, health and the environment are understood and applied.
    The worldwide market for eLearning services is projected to exceed
$52.6-billion by 2010(2). During the last two years, CSA has produced four new
eLearning products for release in 2009 and is committed to developing several
new eLearning projects annually in order to meet the growing demand for
training solutions. Advancements in this form of training are critical to
improving the health and safety of workplace environments in Canada.
    While adoption rates are higher across the country among students, as
little as 15 per cent of Canadian workplaces use eLearning tools for training
purposes(3).
    CSA Standards' new eLearning interactive modules provide dynamic,
entertaining and educational learning experiences, which are designed to
increase an employee's ability to understand, retain and apply standards,
codes, guidelines and policies in the workplace. Several CSA Standards
eLearning solutions focus on health and safety at work, testing a learner's
ability to assess risks, take appropriate action, and improve decision-making
and problem-solving skills in settings where the risk for safety hazards can
be very high. The eLearning interactive modules can be self-directed or paired
with a classroom experience allowing students to learn at an appropriate pace.
They can include life-like scenarios to help trainees understand the impact
decisions can have on the job, providing a more dynamic learning environment
than traditional text-based training.
    One such solution, Response Ready, challenges a trainee to avoid a
dangerous explosion at a gas station and other emergency scenarios such as a
toxic train derailment or a factory chemical spill. Based on CSA's Emergency
Preparedness and Response standard, Z731, Response Ready allows learners to
safely test reactions to these and other similar situations. By being
"response ready," communities can prepare for large-scale emergencies or
catastrophic events, such as industrial explosions or severe weather,
including tornadoes.
    CSA Standards can tailor eLearning solutions for organizations across a
wide variety of sectors well beyond emergency planning or health and safety.
For example, CSA Standards is currently working with Dr. Linda Manning who has
developed a training model for Leveraging Immigrant Talent, a project funded
in part by Workplace Skills Initiative Division of Human Resources and Social
Development Canada and hosted at the University of Ottawa. CSA Standards is
implementing a social networking game called TalentNet: Leveraging Immigrant
Talent. TalentNet is an interactive, eLearning computer game designed to help
managers learn how to keep pace with the changing demographics of Canada's
workforce by maximizing the skills and talents of their employees, and better
identifying future business leaders. It will be officially launched in October
2009.
    For more information on CSA Standards' full suite of eLearning solutions,
pricing and language availability, please visit www.csa.ca/elearning

    About CSA Standards

    CSA Standards is a leading standards-based solutions organization serving
industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in North America
and the global marketplace. Focusing on standards and codes development,
application products, training, advisory and personnel certification services,
the organization aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life,
preserve the environment and facilitate trade. CSA Standards is a division of
CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International, which provides testing
and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a
variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product
evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers.
For more information visit www.csa.ca

    
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    (1) National Work Injuries Statistics Program and the Association of
        Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada, 2007
    (2) Global Industry Analysts Inc.
    (3) "State of E-Learning in Canada," Canadian Council on Learning, May
        2009
    





For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Manager, Media Relations, CSA
Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org

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