VR in OHS Training

VR’s immersive capabilities will completely change and improve the way we conduct OHS (occupational health and safety). The training is a very important element in every industry, company and sector. We live, however, in times where all the accumulated knowledge and procedures used in given industries are so advanced that it is barely possible to teach them in a traditional way. Luckily, the rise of the importance and possibilities of VR and AR usage is a solution. Considerably the best method to acquire knowledge and skills has always been learning by repeating or experimenting. It is very practical during activities that require physical actions. In case of learning how to react in emergency situations it is even more important.
  Adult diverse men standing with laptop and in VR headsets working in control center of solar electrical plant
The early types of flight simulators were in fact a primitive version of virtual reality. Nevertheless, it was the time when people realized that pilots have to know how to react in emergency situations. Nowadays, more advanced virtual reality tools are used by pilots during their training. These kinds of solutions are gradually implemented in the sector of OHS training courses. What is interesting, initially it happened to meet with a slight skepticism. A good example is Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) – a non-profit organization which deals with health and safety training courses. In 2012 NORCAT’s agents held a meeting with the safety experts from the nearby mines who were not interested in the new technology. They replied that “safety is not a game”. However, after seeing the 3D tours in the mines they changed their mind and were ready to cooperate with NORCAT. The animations were additionally beautified with realistic effects.

The training course requires a physically proactive commitment

The benefits of using VR in OHS training courses
The value of VR technology usage in OHS training is its ability in solving typical science problems, especially in the industrial and enterprise environment. Educational materials, both in written and video form, have some limits. Although their quality may be high, their effectiveness in emergency situation preparation may be much worse. Presently the standard OHS training courses are based on watching passive video tutorials, reading attached materials and exams. Lack of realism and commitment in traditional forms of education is even more evident while comparing it to the immersive experience of VR training. During that type of training, the employee takes an active participation in a specific scenario and experiences images and sounds that may take place in a real emergency situation. This way one learns to automatically react to a certain situation regardless to the emotional state. Although at first it may not be apparent, the usage of VR in OHS training courses can bring considerable financial savings. These are the reasons:
  • Better trained employees cause less accidents
  • Less accidents contribute to decreased injury expenses and production delays
  • Better safety means lower compensation costs
Other benefits:
  • Practicing realistic and dangerous scenarios without exposing to danger
  • A pleasant way of learning which could be compared to video games
  • A simpler way of presenting complicated issues and situations
VR can also be a solution to another problem. Traditional courses require organizational issues and an accurate preparation for training a certain scenario. In case of VR, a virtual world can be created at any place and time!

Examples of VR usage in OHS training courses

  • Repair procedures
VR enables to simulate realistic corrective (repair) actions along with keeping all the related procedures.
  • Extinguisher usage training
As the attached video shows, the participant of the course trains performing all of the actions necessary during a fire. The training program by itself estimates how the participant performed such actions like: detecting the fire, activating the alarm, choosing a proper type of extinguisher and calling the appropriate service.
  • Our VR training program for BASF – the biggest chemical company in the world.
We have executed a project for BASF which had a purpose to appply a VR application in training dangerous situations in a factory. The company was interested in using innovative methods prepared for their employees. Thanks to the new technology, employees can learn how to extinguish a fire, how to handle secured data or how to prepare for entering the production area. The application contains training and examinating modes which counts time and mistakes. The training application is also connected to the platform responsible for analyzing particular scenarios and storing individual scores.

Summary

“Will VR be useful also in my industry”? Once people used to ask a similiar question: “Will the Internet be useful also in my industry”? Nowadays, we are not able to imagine life without it. It is going to be the same with VR technology. If you want to be up to date with the current trends and implement modern VR solutions in OHS training courses, please contact us.