Applications of Virtual Reality in making Construction Sites safer
The University of Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) is making strides in the world of occupational health and safety. Their goal? To reduce the 60,000 construction related deaths worldwide. Markus König, head of Computation in Engineering at Bochum claimed that construction safety standards in Germany are lagging behind other first world countries such as the US and UK.
Benefits of Virtual Reality training courses
In real life, you’re probably going to get run over by a forklift once at the maximum. It will be an experience that you have no frame of reference for. What do you think you would do when you see a massive piece of machinery veering towards you? Would you jump out of the way? Would you freeze up like a deer in the headlights?
You may not know that large scale construction projects are modeled in virtual reality before the first nail is hammered in. This gives a starting point for researchers to mimic actual construction sites and the dangers that are inherent to them. In the future, we may see the actual virtual models used for planning a building have an interactive element so that workers can go into the sites they will be working on and face a hazard response test.
Virtual reality can be used for training courses in which workers must pass minimum requirements in alertness and response to hazards.
Going even deeper, worksites can be designed to be safe. By understanding where accidents happens and being able to use simulations to identify danger points, companies can reduce workplace hazards preemptively.
Creating a culture of safety
Are workplace accidents the fault of the individual? In most cases, no. They can be prevented by proper training, a company culture of hazard awareness, and a properly coordinated worksite with safety in mind. VR brings the true dangers of construction sites into clear detail in a way that any number of slides and photos cannot do. It is easy to see how a workplace accident affected someone else. We always think about how it happened to them, but how we wouldn’t make the same mistakes. With VR, you can make the same mistakes – and learn from them.
For more information, the university website has posted an article.