offers customized, online safety training programs

BOULDER – Imagine the future. You’re sitting at your terminal busily typing away, when suddenly a twinge of pain in your wrist brings to mind the dreaded specter of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You know you’ve got to keep working. Who you gonna call?

“If an employee has a problem that they want to get fixed right away, the solution is only a couple of clicks away,´ said Steve Osswald, business manager for the three-year-old Boulder dot-com. “If they have a problem with their wrist, they can click on, look at the different kinds of stretches they should be doing and solve the problem before it blows up into a chronic problem that will prevent them from working.”

This “self-care resource” is just one of’s three-part online service . The company currently provides the service to several sizable corporate clients, including Lucent Technologies and Cable Labs in Louisville. “We are approaching 50 client companies,” Osswald said. He is one of’s seven full-time employees.

Founded by former AT&T Medical Director Dr. Kevin Byrne, offers customized “safety training” programs that companies are required by law to offer employees. The programs apply to workers ranging from forklift operators to health-care workers to data entry people. Programs include “access to experts.”

“We think the Internet is a great way to deliver customized training and self-help to the employees of any company,” Osswald said. Such training and self-help is available to workers anytime day or night, which, according to Osswald, is a big advantage over the old “getting 50 employees together and sitting them down in the lunchroom and shutting down the assembly line” model.

“This way they can actually participate in the training,” he said. And because the server, which is located in a hot-wired downtown Boulder office space, tracks all hits, companies can prove they’ve offered training on anything from proper methods of heavy lifting to management of hazardous materials or blood-borne pathogens.

“The server database tracks all training information and documents that they’ve trained their folks, either electronically or on print. By law, they have to store training records for five years,” Osswald said. recently reached an agreement with Kemper Insurance’s Ergonomics Consulting Unit to provide Web-based ergonomic health and safety training to all Kemper clients. “ is the only medical organization using Internet technology to reach office and factory workers who need health and safety training,” Byrne said.

“The beauty of the Ergo Clinic is that in addition to the reduction of employee injuries and the obvious cost savings that follow, the program tracks usage by each individual within the client company, capturing each employee’s progress, test results and program feedback in a secure database that provides documentation for regulatory compliance and for general reporting. Privacy is assured because the data is available only to authorized supervisors and safety officers.”

Client companies of are billed on an annual subscription basis, according with each employee getting his or her own account and password. The annual subscription cost is calculated on a per company/per user formula. Each company that subscribes to the service gets a home page, which is its portal to the safety training and information.

Osswald said the company has marketed its service primarily through trade shows and industry conferences on Web-based training.