Ben Bennett, managing director of virtual reality (VR) developer Luminous Group, discusses how the technology can help drive up health and safety for transport workers
VR is becoming an increasingly popular means of training staff in a range of industries, due to its ability to save resources and money while benefiting from the same level of training as traditional methods.
Health and safety should be a priority to business owners in all industries, especially if your employees will be working in potentially hazardous job roles such as the transport sector, where staff are working long hours and facing treacherous road conditions.
While traditional methods of classroom teaching have sufficed so far, statistics now show that the projected market growth for both VR and augmented reality (AR) are set to reach $2.8bn by 2023. This is indicative of the demand for both of these technologies in workplace training, so it’s clear that we should all be getting on board with this technology.
VR is more than just a fun and interactive way of getting your workforce engaged with training; it can also improve health and safety in the transport sector.
VR can be programmed to simulate certain hazardous situations that your van or truck drivers could encounter – creating a lifelike version of the scenario, with both visual and sound cues to help make it a more immersive and believable learning experience for your drivers.
And, due to the gamification of VR and the strong emotions the scenarios can elicit, it’s more likely that your workers will retain information about their training.
Dedicating the necessary time to detailed hands-on training is not always possible for a number of reasons. But, as VR training will take place through a headset, more time can be dedicated to go in-depth with your staff’s training. This improves their learning experience by building up muscle memory of the problems and giving them the chance to have as many rehearsals as desired on making fast response decisions.
VR also provides an opportunity for employees who have missed training or need additional help to catch up without the need for a situation to be recreated.
Transport workers can be faced with plenty of hazards in their day-to-day job – including loading and unloading heavy shipments, working at heights, and driving through dangerous road conditions. Using VR to train ensures they are better versed in any problems that may arise, helping them to safely handle the situation, which in turn lowers the level of risk.
VR can also help your workers if they feel anxious towards certain tasks, especially if they’re unfamiliar. So much so, that a study carried out by The Lancet Psychiatry found that HIQ assessment scores for a care group who were exposed to VR guidance on their phobia of heights had halved by the end of the experiment.
Ensuring your employees are comfortable with their tasks has the potential to reduce injury and accident rates and improve job satisfaction, so it’s a win-win. Working in the transport sector can have its challenges, but, with VR technology, you can efficiently and effectively train your staff in an immersive and memorable way.