Top 5 Benefits of VR for EHS Training
Identifying workplace hazards, training workers, reducing accidents and using protective clothing and equipment are pivotal to ensure health and well-being in the workplace. Although EHS training through conventional methods is widespread, VR technology can be an effective substitute for workplace safety training. This article will explore the top 5 benefits of using VR for EHS training.
What is EHS ?
EHS is an abbreviation for Environmental, Health and Safety. In essence, organizations implement ESH guidelines to guarantee the safety of their employees and the environment in which they operate. Each acronym in ESH has its own significance in the workplace.
Environmental over here means scrutinizing the physical surroundings in which an employee works to achieve the desired result expected by the management. For example, identifying and taking necessary actions in case of unexpected chemical spills and leaks.
The World Health Organization defined Health “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.” which means advocating and setting standard operating procedures for the workers to mitigate or eliminate the injuries that workers might experience while working.
Safety in an organization means good working conditions and a protected atmosphere where workers can work without any fear of getting injured.
How did it all start?
The shift from agriculture to industrialization marked the reorganization of the economy and the need for heavy equipment and labour-intensive work to produce goods and services.
Over and above, the negligence of safety measures and precautions led to some of the most disastrous industrial events like Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Chernobyl Accident 1986 led to the establishment of private and government industrial safety and health standards like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and Environment Protection Act (1986).
Top 5 Benefits of VR for EHS Training
1. Increased Safety
One of the primary benefits of VR for EHS training is increased safety. Safety training is an essential aspect of any high-risk job. However, traditional safety training methods can be tedious and do not always provide a realistic experience.
VR safety training, on the other hand, offers an immersive experience that simulates real-world scenarios. This immersive experience allows employees to learn safety protocols and develop their safety skills in a safe and controlled environment, without putting themselves or others in danger.
VTC- Crane Training
VTC, a market leader in the Netherlands in vertical transport training, was looking for a way for its workers to safely practice all facets of setting up the crane and lifting the load.
VROwl developed a VR application where participants including a machinist, hoist supervisor and instructor could come together and train in a real-life environment.
Traditional EHS training can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring trainers to be physically present to demonstrate safety protocols through training manuals or videos. This type of training can become tedious and demands a significant amount of attention from the learner to acquire knowledge.
In contrast, VR safety training is a cost-effective solution for businesses that require new trainees to get familiarized with high-risk environments without the risk of getting them injured.
Additionally, it can save money on costly equipment purchase or upgrades as the organization can simulate multiple scenarios and improve the skills of the workers until they are ready to get deployed at site.
Safeway, a Dutch company, specialised in the design and production of offshore transfer equipment, is using a VR-training in which operators can control a Safeway gangway as if they were on the ship itself. In the simulation, they have a view of a virtual cabin and have full control over the gangway systems through two joysticks.
The use of a VR simulator and training has resulted in reduced (travel)costs and better trained staff with a smaller ecological footprint, saving Safeway tens of thousand euros every year.
Standardization is another benefit of VR for EHS training. In traditional safety training, trainers may provide different levels of training to employees. This approach can lead to inconsistencies in knowledge and skill levels among employees.
With VR safety training, the training is standardized, and all employees receive the same level of training, which ensures that everyone is on the same page. VR safety training also provides the opportunity to update and modify the training easily.
For instance, if a business introduces new safety protocols, it can easily update the VR simulation to reflect the changes. This approach helps ensure that all employees are trained on the latest safety protocols.
Engagement is a crucial aspect of any training program, including safety training. Traditional safety training methods can be tedious and boring, which can make it difficult for employees to stay engaged. In contrast, VR safety training is highly engaging, thanks to its immersive and interactive nature.
VR safety training allows employees to learn by doing, which is more effective than simply reading about safety protocols. In addition, VR safety training provides a gamified experience that motivates employees to complete the training. This approach helps improve engagement levels, which can lead to better retention rates and improved safety.
According to a report by PWC, VR trained learners are 4 times more focused during training than their e-learning peers and 1.5 times more focused than their classroom peers.
5. Measurable Results
Measurable results are another benefit of VR for EHS training. Traditional safety training methods do not always provide an accurate measure of an employee’s performance. With VR safety training, however, businesses can measure an employee’s performance in real-time.
VR safety training allows businesses to track an employee’s progress, identify areas where they need improvement, and provide feedback on their performance. This approach can help businesses identify gaps in knowledge and skills and address them before they become a safety concern.
By incorporating eye tracking technology into VR, trainers can monitor various metrics such as the user’s response time to recognize potential hazards, how the workers are engaging with the simulation, their ability to successfully execute the entire safety procedure, and many other factors.
In conclusion, VR safety training offers several benefits for EHS training. These benefits include increased safety, cost-effectiveness, standardization, engagement, and measurable results. With VR safety training, businesses can provide their employees with a safe and immersive learning experience that improves their knowledge and skills in a realistic environment.