Virtual reality can be a powerful learning and training tool on OSH principles.
Today’s labour inspectors don’t need to put themselves in real danger during a training programme. Instead, they can learn new skills in a safe, yet realistic, virtual environment.
That’s why Qatar’s Ministry of Labour, the International Labour Organization, the ITCILO, and Immersive Factory teamed up to provide a customized, immersive and interactive virtual reality simulation for local labour inspectors.
We are excited to introduce technology to spice up the traditional classroom training. The gamification of the training will engage users in new and fun ways, and will help inspectors internalize knowledge on specific safety hazards.
The government is currently piloting the virtual reality module within its traditional training programmes.
Virtual reality is a powerful learning and training tool. It provides opportunities for active learning – a proven way to prepare for risky or dangerous situations, in particular. In fact, studies show that people remember more of what they learn in VR environments, compared with traditional training.
The module simulates a construction site and trains users on common safety and health issues.
In this case, we designed a virtual reality environment that recreates a construction site and common safety and health challenges in Qatar. Equipped with a VR headset, labour inspectors can explore the site with life-like accuracy.
Their task? Detect and correct irregularities, hazards, and high-risk behaviors. At the end of the course, the labour inspectors are better positioned to identify, react to, and prevent OSH issues.
The VR module simulates an accurate replica of a typical construction site in Qatar. Everything – the sounds, the sun, the machines, the virtual characters – are customized according to participants’ needs and local realities.
Before the training starts, the VR module guides participants through a quick tutorial on how to navigate the virtual environment. For example, participants learn how to use the camera to capture the irregularities, dangers, and risks that they identify.
During the training, participants walk around the environment and search for anything irregular or unsafe. When they find something, they document it by taking a picture and then test their knowledge by completing a short quiz. The questions are created by ILO Qatar and experts in the field.
Trainers can select from a series of predefined difficulty levels, which changes the amount of time participants are given to identify and respond to irregularities, as well as the number and types of irregularities shown.
At the end of the module, participants can review the irregularities that they missed and their incorrect answers.
This ready-made module can be replicated and used by other governments, institutions, and organizations. Some elements, such as language and objects/machinery, are customizable.
The ITCILO is open to collaboration on new VR modules on similar topics. For more information, contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).