Safety Training Reimagined: The Impact Of VR And AR On Workplace Education

Health and safety training is a critical aspect of workplace education. Ensuring that employees are aware of potential hazards and equipped with the knowledge to mitigate risks is possible to do these days using immersive technology.

With the advancement of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), health and safety training has entered a new era of effectiveness and engagement. Collaborative learning spaces using AR also drive better communication and learning for everybody.

Augmented Reality is a technology that overlays digital information and virtual objects onto the real world through the use of devices such as smartphones, tablets, or AR glasses. This technology provides users with a blended experience of the physical and virtual worlds, enhancing their perception and interaction with the environment.

For industries such as construction, mining, and manufacturing, where safety is a top priority, immersive technology provides a safe and controlled environment for training. Employees can practice high-risk tasks without the danger of real-world consequences.

Moreover, in a training environment or induction, businesses have a prime opportunity to leverage the power of collaborative learning. Employees and new recruits have the opportunity to bond and have more fun when they are engaged in group activities, discussions, and projects.

Collaborative learning spaces are designed to facilitate teamwork, problem-solving, and peer learning. AR enhances the learning experience by providing interactive and engaging content, fostering real-time collaboration among learners and enabling dynamic and customisable learning experiences.

Benefits of Using Immersive Technology

Traditionally, health and safety training often involved lectures, videos, and printed materials. While these methods are informative, they lack the engagement and practical experience that immersive technology provides.

With VR and AR, training has evolved into a more interactive and realistic experience, allowing employees to actively participate in scenarios that mimic real-world situations.

For example, standard induction and training programs often involve compliance topics. This part of the training is always boring and hardly ever taken seriously. AR helps to make content more engaging by creating highly realistic simulations where health and safety knowledge would need to be applied.

VR and AR visualise and immerse employees in situations they have probably never experienced. Fire training and chemical spills can be practised in a safe and controlled environment without having to sit through a boring lecture.

Moreover, the interactive nature of VR and AR training simulations makes the content more memorable for employees. Instead of passive learning, employees actively participate. They learn by interacting with a hazardous experience and making decisions. Learning by doing leads to better retention of information.

In industries such as construction, manufacturing and mining, where health and safety are of tantamount importance, immersive technology allows for hands-on learning which stimulates multisensory faculties.

Haptics, for example, provide tactile sensations, such as vibrations, pressure, and texture, allowing them to interact with virtual objects as if they were real. Because employees can interact with AR-generated objects and equipment, the hands-on experience helps in developing muscle memory and familiarity with safety procedures that employees take into the workplace.

AR also facilitates real-time communication and collaboration among learners. With AR-enabled devices, such as smartphones, AR goggles and haptic gloves, learners can share information, annotations, and ideas seamlessly within the collaborative space.

A 3d cartoon illustration of a person in a yellow shirt and VR goggles engaging with virtual content

Creating Health & Safety Training Scenarios

Health and safety training scenarios can be customised to the specific needs and risks of different industries and workplaces. You can train employees to recognise and respond to different types of workplace hazards and emergencies, operate and maintain equipment or simulate ergonomic assessments.

Whatever the scenario that you intend to create, immersive technology trains employees to identify potential dangers and take appropriate actions to mitigate risks. Real-time feedback on actions and decisions allows trainees to correct mistakes and improve their skills immediately rather than waiting and stewing on mistakes for days and even weeks.

Researchers at MIT in the US said one of the biggest insights businesses should know about collaborative learning is to use a script. This allows situations to flow naturally and thus the interaction also becomes more natural.

You may also want to encourage your trainees to create interactive presentations and projects that can be shared with the entire class. Groups can collaborate on AR-enhanced projects, combining their ideas and expertise for a comprehensive learning experience.

Get in touch

If your company has critical health and safety training programs that can be significantly enhanced by AR and VR, get in touch with us today and discuss your project with one of our senior designers.

Recent Posts