Virtual Reality Simulators Making the Workplace Safer March 15, 2019
There were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Lack of training is a contributing cause of many of these accidents, especially in the manufacturing industry, where most injuries happen during a worker’s first year of employment.
Technological advancements have made new, more effective training methods possible, such as virtual reality (VR) training simulators.
What is Virtual Reality Simulation?
A VR simulator uses computer technology to simulate three-dimensional objects and environments to create a realistic and engaging experience for users, who typically wear headsets.
VR simulators are currently being used for entertainment and education. But a Louisiana entrepreneur has developed one specifically for manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemical industries.
Manufacturing Employee Training
The VR simulator creates “real-life” environments in which employees can test their knowledge and skills when encountering workplace challenges. By practicing with the VR simulator, workers are more prepared when they go into the field.
The software is often used on site to train employees and to test their knowledge of complicated or infrequently-performed tasks.
Its creator notes the various benefits of the VR simulator, including that it:
- Increases training retention
- Mitigates risk
- Promotes worker safety
- Saves money
Manufacturing Accidents are Often Due to Inadequate Training
The creator of the manufacturing VR simulator startup credits a traumatic personal experience for the idea. In 2013, his friend was fatally injured in an oil rig accident. The friend had gone out, along with a supervisor, to open one of the steam-collecting valves. Three minutes later both men were killed, and 165 other employees were injured when the oil rig exploded. According to the Louisiana entrepreneur, the workers were not informed of engineering changes that were made, nor were they properly trained on how to handle them.
He also notes that most manufacturing companies rely on PowerPoint presentations and on-the-job training, which inadequately represent the risks because most industrial injuries happen during the initial phase of training. He says it is important for workers to be able to recognize various manufacturing components and understand how they work.
How the VR Simulator Can Improve the Workplace
The VR training simulator provides an immersive experience for workers without putting them at risk. It allows them to put their knowledge and skills to the test so that workers feel more comfortable performing certain tasks out in the field.
The startup is currently working on measuring the VR simulator’s application within the workplace and comparing it to other methods. They hope the data will show that the VR simulator is a preferable method of training that helps people to work safer.
Workplace Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Those in the Manufacturing Industry Obtain Compensation for Work-Related Injuries
If you were injured or were diagnosed with an illness while working in the manufacturing industry, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. A workplace accident lawyer in Philadelphia at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can explain your legal options, ensure that your rights are protected, and work to obtain maximum compensation in your case. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
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