Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, one in five U.S. worker deaths in 2019 were in construction. That’s why companies like Skanska – the fifth largest construction company in the world – is looking to virtual reality (VR) to decrease the number of preventable accidents. Skanska collaborated with creative XR agency, OutHere, to implement a construction safety training platform workers can experience on HTC’s VIVE Focus 3. HTC VIVE will showcase the latest version of OutHere’s training program called, ‘Step Into Safety’ for the first time at Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Safety training is hugely important for any construction site, where even small accidents can have a huge impact on personal safety, as well as the project’s success. Safety training, in the construction industry, is difficult because there are thousands of unique situations, making it impossible to build safe physical training environments, and it can be expensive. Classroom learning has a valuable place but there’s nothing which can replace practical experience. That’s where VR is the perfect solution, and All-in-One wireless headsets like the VIVE Focus 3 come in.
The VR safety training platform was created in close collaboration with behavioral science experts as well as ground workers at construction industry giant Skanska to replicate risk scenarios in a variety of construction site environments that workers face every day.
VIVE Focus 3, powered by the Snapdragon® XR2 platform, delivers 5k resolution and high-fidelity visuals plus robust tracking and intuitive features that allows OutHere and Skanska to create scenarios based on real projects or theoretical experiences. By integrating the ‘Step Into Safety’ program and VIVE Focus 3 with HTC’s VIVE Business Training solution, trainees can benefit from real-time instructor feedback. Training leaders can observe the progress of a trainee on an Android device and highlight next steps needed – even in a session of hundreds.
“We wanted to provide our workers with a new kind of training that could fundamentally change their behavior,” said Tania Sjöberg, Project Leader of Step Into Safety & Leadership Developer with Skanska. “Filling out multiple-choice webforms or listening to presentations is a good start but doesn’t reach their emotions – where real behavioral change is possible. VR can do that because you can put participants ‘at risk’ in a simulated environment without endangering their lives. The decision for just VR was the possibility of linking behavioral science with VR technology to achieve lasting behavioral change.”
The Step Into Safety demo at MWC will guide users through complex and hazardous simulations that replicate real-life scenarios on construction sites. The goal is for trainees to develop essential skills through in-depth and vivid imagery that leads to long-term behavioral change and safer workplaces in the construction industry.