By Stefan Marinak, NHEO Corporate Communications.
Job safety is one of the most important issues in the construction industry today, and the tools/methods used to improve it are constantly evolving. After conducting research on the latest tools being utilized to improve safety in the construction industry while interning here at NHEO Institute, one tool sticks out from the rest of the pack: Virtual Reality.
The movement of virtual reality has been spearheaded over the past few years by companies like Oculus, HTC, and Samsung with their headsets the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR. These companies have made it possible for everyday consumers and businesses to have access to VR technology for a relatively low price. Videogames and other interactive story-telling experiences have been the main result of this access, but companies in other industries, including construction companies, have found alternate benefits from it.
Today, companies such as NextWave, Bechtel, and Gammon Construction Limited are utilizing VR technology to train workers with hands-on experience before they ever step foot on a construction site. Workers can put on a VR headset and experience what would be high-risk scenarios with no risk at all. The technology allows companies to track the progress and results of the workers by providing specific statistics and data, which increases managers abilities to give them accurate feedback. Also, VR is a great (and cheap) way for workers to learn how to operate different types of vehicles and machines. Instead of having a worker jump into a six-figure excavator or bulldozer with no experience, the worker can practice in a virtual version of the vehicle and make as many mistakes as they want until they master it!
As the technology behind VR increases, the uses and benefits for different industries will only increase. For the construction industry, VR can be a key tool for improving job safety. VR allows workers to be better prepared through increased hands-on experience with high-risk scenarios, increased feedback from managers, and increased experience with vehicles and machines. To find out more on how you can implement this technology into your business, feel free to contact us at NHEO Institute and we will provide you with more information!