- Canadian firm CM Labs Simulation recently introduced the luffing tower crane (LTC) training pack, a virtual training program that simulates the controls, functions and challenges of crane operation in dense urban settings.
- The program includes visual distractions common to urban environments, such as passing cars, planes and pedestrians. As users become more confident, they can test their skills in nighttime mode or adverse weather conditions like cloud cover, rain, snow, fog and wind.
- According to CM Labs, the program offers a safe setting for users to gain LTC operational skills and worksite awareness for real-world settings. CM Labs said its construction simulators can speed up training and reduce costs by up to 75 percent.
A growing number of companies are introducing virtual reality (VR) training as a way for workers to explore realistic jobsite environments and test the limits of equipment in tough conditions. Canadian company Serious Labs debuted in March an aerial operation simulator with scissor lift and boom lift modules. The kit includes a VR headset, safety cage, scissor lift controls and headset calibration controls that the firm said provides a fully immersive training experience.
Not only do these technologies provide real-world experience without the risk, but they may also prove useful in recruiting workers to the industry — particularly, young workers who have grown up with technology and are comfortable with it in their workplaces.
"From a business operations standpoint, when you're competing for a small pool of labor, having things like tech training and career development can help incentivize workers to come join your firm," Emily Tsitrian, consulting services director at PlanGrid, a construction productivity software company, told Construction Dive last month.
VR training and visualization software may act as a magnet for millennials and other young workers who might not otherwise be considering blue-collar careers.