Solution Summary: Construction Safety and Health Virtual Reality Training
Virtual reality (VR) technology has the potential to revolutionize the to approach health and safety training in various industries, including construction. In the construction industry, safety is a critical concern, and the risks associated with working on construction sites are numerous. Traditionally, safety training has been delivered through classroom instruction, videos, or on-the-job training. However, with the advent of VR, construction workers can experience a more immersive and interactive way to learn and practice safety procedures in a safe and controlled virtual environment. This technology has the potential to improve hazard identification and assessment as well as health and safety outcomes for construction workers, reduce incidents, and minimize the costs associated with injuries and lost work time.
The hardware components required for VR training in construction safety may vary depending on the specific training program and the level of immersion required (figure 1). However, some of the common components include: a VR headset, a computer system to run the VR software, and motion controllers.
Figure 1. Workers undergoing VR training. (Photo courtesy of Industrial Training International)
Although the list is not comprehensive, below are a few examples to consider:
PIXO VR offers standard construction site safety training that covers OSHA requirements, including Fall Protection, Lockout/Tagout, and Electrical Hazards. In addition, PIXO also uses VR to teach hard construction skills needed for housekeeping, trenching and excavation, and scaffolding (figure 2). These training programs use virtual reality simulations to create a realistic, immersive experience that engages trainees and provides a powerful learning environment. Moreover, PIXO's VR partners can create custom virtual reality content to meet specific requirements for companies that have unique safety procedures or equipment. This tailored approach ensures that trainees receive training that is appropriate for their job and that can help them perform their tasks safely and effectively.
Figure 2. A construction VR training module for scaffolding. (Photo courtesy of PIXO VR)
Hardhat is a VR software company that specializes in providing immersive and interactive safety training solutions for the construction industry. Their VR software allows construction workers to learn and practice safety procedures in a controlled and safe virtual environment, reducing the risks associated with on-the-job training. Hardhat's software is designed to be engaging and interactive, with realistic simulations of construction sites and potential hazards. The company also offers customized VR training modules tailored to specific construction sites and equipment, allowing workers to receive specialized training that meets their unique needs.
Their VR content library includes:
- Lockout Tagout: Electrical
- Fire Hazard Awareness
- Warehouse Hazard Awareness
- Working from Heights
- Chemical Spill Cleanup
- Excavation & Trenching
- Fall Protection
- Construction Site: Ladder
- Construction Site: Electrical
- First Aid: CPR & AED
- First Aid: Bloodborne Pathogens
- Security Breach Awareness
- Confined Space Entry
- Forklift Training
- Lockout Tagout: Manufacturing
- Logistics: Picking Operations
- Logistics: Packing Operations
Industrial Training International
ITI is focused on skill development for mobile and overhead crane operation, inspection, maintenance, and rigging tasks (figure 3). The VR crane simulator puts operators in the seat of 1 of 8 crane types to develop load handling equipment skills without the need of a physical crane. The Overhead Crane Inspector and Technician Simulations provide these professions with realistic crane conditions to troubleshoot and diagnose common problems related to mechanical, electrical, and structural components. ITI also leverages world-class content from industry partners like Pixo VR and Hard Hat VR, who develop realistic hazard recognition and job task simulations for oil and gas, renewables, manufacturing, and maritime industries. ITI's combined libraries provide a foundation of hazard awareness, inspection, diagnosis, and operation skills building.
Figure 3. VR training screen for a crane simulation. (Photo courtesy of Industrial Training International)
Their VR content library for construction hazard identification training includes:
- Hand Tools
- Lifting and Rigging
- Electrical and Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)
- Environmental Hazards
- Confined Space and Hot Work
- Mobile Equipment and Personnel Interface (MEPI) and Excavations
- Dropped Object Prevention/Protection
- Fall Prevention/Protection
- Industrial Hygiene (includes silica dust and noise exposure)
By using construction safety and health virtual reality training, workers can learn how to identify and respond to potential hazards such as falls from heights, electrical hazards, excavation and trenching hazards, and confined space entry.
How Risks are Reduced:
Construction safety and health virtual reality training allows trainees to experience and practice hazardous scenarios in a controlled environment, which can improve their knowledge and skills related to safety protocols.
Additionally, this type of training can help workers understand the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the risk of accidents due to improper usage. Moreover, it can also simulate emergency situations, providing workers with the opportunity to practice evacuation procedures and first aid techniques. Overall, virtual reality training can enhance workers' understanding and preparedness for health and safety risks in the construction industry, leading to a safer and more productive work environment.
Jean Christophe Le, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
Bruce Lippy, Ph.D., CIH, CSP - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
Mike Kassman, MAHP, CHST, PA-AIC, APT - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
To obtain information, visit VR Training for Construction or contact 1-248-996-8298