Bechtel rolls out virtual reality safety training
Global construction firm Bechtel partnered with New York City-based construction safety technology company Human Condition Safety to offer the latter's new virtual reality (VR) immersion safety training.
VR technology will be piloted in conjunction with training modules for workforce education at the Bechtel Innovation Center in Houston. HCS's SafeScan program allows users to repeatedly simulate dangerous or intensive procedures.
Usage data from training can be collected and combined with geographic information, safety histories and regulatory requirements to optimize future training and real-world safety programs and practices.
Just behind the design and development set in employing VR are construction safety teams, who have experienced an upshot in leveraging realistic simulations to train workers in dealing with hazardous environments or intensive maneuvers — including high-risk tasks like crane operations — without actually exposing them or their surroundings to danger.
“We’re seeing greater use of VR simulators to get more management involved in crane safety at trade shows in particular,” said Hank Dutton, a crane safety specialist for Travelers Insurance, who spoke with Construction Dive this week about how construction firms are using new technology to improve safety on the job site. His company is developing a mobile training application that uses VR to teach best practices for mitigating accidents in warehouses and manufacturing facilities. He notes that VR training is also incorporated at some of the larger construction-workforce training centers
In addition to training, VR offers construction safety professionals the ability to visually communicate job site hazards to management and design teams throughout the construction cycle. Tools from tablets and mobile phones to wearable visors provide a 3-D, 360-degree view of work environments to members of the project team regardless of their location.