The Safety Net of Training in VR

The idea of using a virtual environment for training is far from new, aviation has used flight simulators for decades. While the return on investment is undeniable (unlike an airliner, there’s no cost for a pilot to crash in a simulator), it’s provides the only opportunity for experiential learning without any of the risk.

Slowly, immersive headsets are becoming a universal training tool. Suzanne Edwards of e-learning consultancy Enlighten says VR is the current best method of overcoming a common Catch-22 in industrial training. “Many mine operators have a restrictive permitting system that means new employees cannot go underground without training, but the best way to get the training is by going into the mine,” she says. “Using VR means more experiential learning.”

Particularly for an industry like construction, where workplace safety training is legally required and supremely important, yet it’s often buried in long and complex documents. RMIT Professor Helen Lingard has found that traditional workplace health and safety documents often go unread. There’s a gap between the way work is described in formal health and safety documents and the way it is practised on site. Visual methods, including video, can overcome some of these difficulties. Videos have been widely used to communicate health and safety information to workers but in such uses, workers are passive audiences to generic video materials.

Virtual reality is visual and provides an active, first person experience; a great facilitator for safe experiential learning.

Nationwide UK have recently launched VR training for their workers, including; VR training for scissor lift and boom lift operators, powered access risks and working at height. Peter Douglas, Nationwide UK Director of Operations, said, “this technology perfectly bridges the gap between theory and practical training. The VR simulators will allow operators to work through complex scenarios replicating real-life training hazards without the risk. We feel VR Training will reduce the number of accidents on site as well as damage to buildings and equipment.”

With industry knowledge across architecture, engineering, construction and health, ineni Realtime are skilled at turning your workplace into an accurate 3D model. Working collaboratively with stakeholders, we can create training simulations and interactive lessons tailored to any workplace. Please contact us for further information and a quote to bring VR Training to your company.