Travancore Analytics

Virtual Reality in OSHA Training: Approach to Reduce Workplace Accidents

March 6th, 2023

Category: virtual reality

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Posted by: Team TA

Blog 1

Workplaces can often be filled with accidents. Every year, several lives are lost as a result of workplace accidents that might have been avoided with adequate training and understanding of workplace risks. If proper safety protocols and precautions are not followed, workers may put their precious lives at risk. As a result, it is critical that businesses must take preventive measures to eliminate the possibility of accidents of any kind.

In this context, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) comes into the picture. OSHA is a federal agency that is responsible for establishing and enforcing safety standards in the workplace. OSHA was created to ensure that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA has specific regulations and standards that employers must follow in order to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. These standards cover a wide range of workplace hazards, including electrical hazards, fall protection, hazardous materials, machine guarding, respiratory protection, and more.

In addition to setting safety standards, OSHA also conducts inspections of workplaces to ensure that employers are following these standards. OSHA may issue citations or penalties to employers who violate safety regulations and may even shut down a workplace if it poses an imminent danger to employees. Employees also have the right to report safety concerns to OSHA. They can file a complaint with OSHA if they believe their workplace is unsafe or if they have been retaliated against for reporting safety concerns. The OSHA training program is intended to educate employees and employers on the proper safety protocols and maintain a safe working environment. The goal of this training is to promote safe and healthy working conditions for all employees and mitigate potential hazards that may take place at work.

According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, around 2.3 million women and men worldwide die each year as a result of work-related accidents or illnesses; this equates to over 6000 fatalities every day. Every year, there are about 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million sufferers of work-related diseases worldwide.

Some common causes of workplace accidents include:

  • Inadequate or lack of training
  • Insufficient safety equipment
  • Poorly maintained equipment or machinery
  • Unsafe working conditions or practices
  • Environmental factors such as poor lighting or ventilation

Virtual Reality for Hazardous Work Training

There’s no doubt that training is essential across all industries, and the Virtual Reality technology services has the greatest application potential for organizations that work heavily with highly hazardous materials, use vehicles for goods transportation and services, or operate and work with heavy machinery and equipment. that primarily fall under OSHA’s general industry classification, are using VR technologies to increase their health and safety compliance. 

Virtual Reality in OSHA training has grown increasingly popular in recent years.  Both technologies can be used for OSHA training in a variety of settings, such as construction sites, factories, and laboratories, and more. VR technology provides an immersive and interactive experience, allowing employees to train on various activities in a more engaging and memorable manner.

A VR device immerses the user in a completely computer-generated environment, allowing the individual to navigate the environment as if they were physically there. By engaging workers in realistic and challenging scenarios, VR technology offers a highly interactive and immersive training experience that can help workers better understand and retain safety concepts.  VR can help build their confidence and prepare them to respond effectively in real-world situations. VR can simulate hazardous situations in a controlled environment and provide training to help workers identify potential hazards and develop strategies to avoid or mitigate risks. This can help reduce workplace accidents and injuries, leading to improved safety outcomes.

Traditional safety training often involves expensive equipment and real-world simulations, which can be costly and time-consuming and fraught with safety hazards. By using VR, training can be conducted in a virtual environment, reducing the need for physical equipment and lowering training costs. VR training can be customized to meet the specific needs of individual workers and organizations. This can include simulations that are tailored to specific job roles, hazards, or environments, allowing workers to develop the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe on the job. VR can create realistic simulations of hazardous situations that are difficult or impossible to replicate in real life, such as fires, explosions, or chemical spills. This allows workers to experience and practice responding to these situations without putting themselves or others in danger.

One of the benefits of VR-based OSHA compliant training is that it can provide a realistic simulation of hazardous situations without putting workers in danger. For example, workers can practice using safety equipment and responding to emergencies in a virtual environment before encountering real-world scenarios. VR-based OSHA training can also be more cost-effective than traditional training methods, as it eliminates the need for expensive equipment and facilities. In addition, the technology can be customized to fit the specific needs of a particular industry or workplace.

Overall, VR-based OSHA training has the potential to improve workplace safety by providing an engaging and effective training experience that prepares workers for hazardous situations in a safe and controlled environment. 

Our XR team at Travancore Analytics is working on the second phase of a similar project for Forklift University. A VR-based solution to train workers on how to operate a forklift in different warehouse settings with several levels of training modules inclusive for all levels of learners, from beginners to intermediates to experts, before they operate on the real forklift. Our team modeled the entire warehouse, forklift, and others from scratch and learned how to operate a forklift to work out the solution in VR, complying with OSHA training standards.

Way Ahead 

VR technologies have traditionally gone mainstream in the aerospace, military, transport and medical fields, and they are increasingly being piloted and rolled out in a host of industrial settings as innovative technologies for safety training. OSHA training is no exception, and it is likely that the use of VR will become increasingly prevalent in the future.

VR offers several benefits for OSHA training, such as:

  • Increased engagement
  • Improved Safety
  • Cost effective
  • Customizable
  • Realistic and immersive scenarios
  • Allowing trainees to practice procedures in a safe and controlled environment
  • Reducing the risk of accidents and injuries during on-the-job training
  • Customized to meet the specific needs of individual trainees or organizations

As the technology evolves, the use of VR for OSHA training will likely become even more widespread.  Future VR OSHA training will include more interactive simulations, improved haptic feedback technologies, and advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms to personalize and enhance training. Moreover, VR training could also become more accessible and affordable, making it possible for smaller businesses and organizations to implement this type of training into their operations. As a result, VR will likely play an increasingly important role in ensuring workplace safety and health, reducing occupational injuries and fatalities, and improving the overall quality of OSHA training.

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