How to Improve Hazard Recognition Training With VR

How to Improve Hazard Recognition Training With VR

Discover how to implement effective hazard recognition training using virtual reality to improve workplace safety in this blog.

Anyone reading this article will likely have some memory of starting a new job and having to engage in health and safety or hazard recognition training depending on the risk factors in your business, but have you ever tried safety training in virtual reality?

For every 20,000 hazards, approximately 1,500 near misses, 300 minor injuries, 27 major injuries and one fatality will occur – this is referred to as the accident triangle, which showcases the relationship between accident severity and frequency. Ratios can vary by industry, but it’s clear that when hazards go unaddressed, accidents will eventually happen and therefore, employers must do all they can to prevent them. This is where effective hazard recognition training and onboarding work wonders.

Hazard recognition training teaches workers to spot dangers before they lead to accidents. This training can be done in several ways from e-learning and watching videos to listening to subject matter experts giving talks and shadowing trainers. But rarely do people receiving training re-enact or experience the situation they might encounter first-hand, which is why virtual reality is an effective method of hazard recognition training.

VR gives employees a first-hand, life-like experience of a particular scenario meaning that when scenarios happen in real life, they’re better equipped to deal with them effectively.

In this blog we’ll cover everything you need to know about effective hazard recognition safety training:

·         The general types of workplace hazards

·         The best way to do hazard recognition training

·         Why VR is a great method of hazard recognition training

What are the main types of hazards in the workplace?

There are different types of hazards that employees should be able to identify to prevent accidents. These include:

·         Physical Hazards: Such as slips, trips, falls, and moving machinery.

·         Chemical Hazards: Including exposure to toxic substances or flammable materials.

·         Biological Hazards: Such as exposure to viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens.

·         Ergonomic Hazards: Resulting from poor workstation design, repetitive motions, or improper lifting techniques.

Identifying these hazards is key to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for your employees.

What’s the best way to do hazard recognition training?

Hazard recognition training is typically learned through lectures, videos, or on-the-job training. However, these methods may not always be engaging or effective in conveying the seriousness of workplace hazards. Google’s People Operations Leader found that 90% of corporate training is ineffective

Think about any training you’ve received; can you remember the minute but important details of what you were taught? Studies show that 70% of people admitted to forgetting something they’d been taught just 24 hours after learning.

This is called learning decay, which means that if someone does not access or use a memory they’ve learned, it will fade (or decay) over time. When investing money into training and development, you want training that helps people to retain knowledge as much as possible.

There are a couple of ways to implement effective hazard recognition training and ensure your employees don’t experience learning decay. By using virtual reality scenarios to train your employees in addition to e-learning methods, you can do all these things:

1)    Make sure learning content is specific to your employee’s job roles

One of the most effective ways to ensure your employees remember the things you’re teaching them is to make them relevant to their job roles and tasks, every piece of learning content they encounter should be linked back to tasks they’ll be doing and how it can help them in their day-to-day work.

How VR training helps: XR technology opens a whole world of opportunities for learning and development and means your work environment, the machinery and the tools you use can all be recreated in VR. Whether it’s working at heights on a construction site, spotting arc hazards or welding and blasting, VR content can be created to suit your exact training needs.

2)    Provide hands-on opportunities to learn

Learning by doing aka active methods of learning are the best for knowledge retention and building muscle memory, and this type of learning is effective for different types of learners.

How VR training helps: VR is perfect because it gives employees the hands-on experience they need, without any safety dangers or the need to shut down operations for training, resulting in huge cost savings. Employees can practice procedures as much as they need in VR until they feel confident and comfortable taking their skills into the real world.

Employees retain knowledge of what they learn in VR at a rate of up to 80% one year after the training, compared to 20% just one week after traditional training. Impressive.

3)    Offer consistent and immediate feedback

As soon as your employees complete a task you taught them how to do, offer them immediate feedback on their performance so they can improve if needed. Otherwise, they may adopt the wrong knowledge or skills or forget them. We all know the saying practice makes perfect, to really learn how to do something, learners must do whatever it is they’re learning over and over again until it becomes second nature.

How VR training helps: Here at Luminous we have a range of training modes, the first is assisted learning where users go through a particular task step by step with audio and visual cues. Trainers can also join these sessions using VR headsets to go through modules with trainees in VR as if they were together in the same room. The best thing, this can be done from anywhere in the world, making it perfect for businesses with dispersed workforces.

4)    Implement micro-learning

When learning something new, it can be overwhelming to receive so much information all at once and try to remember it all. To avoid learning decay, divide larger modules with multiple learning objectives into smaller bits. This way, your learners won’t ever be overwhelmed or bombarded by information and can focus on mastering one task or skill at a time.

How VR training helps: VR training courses are split up into smaller modules. Here at Luminous we would typically have 5 modules in a course, which we call a scenario, and each course takes around 15 minutes to complete which is optimal for A) knowledge retention and B) time spent in a VR headset.


Why VR is a great method of hazard recognition training

Whilst it’s important to have the fundamental knowledge of hazards in the workplace which can be learnt using documentation and lectures, combining this kind of training with virtual reality ensures that training is fully effective and comes with a whole host of benefits:

  • VR scenarios created to suit your exact training needs are incredibly realistic and mimic your real world work environment, making training all the more effective.
  • VR provides trainees with a safe learning environment. By practicing in a virtual world, there is no risk of injury or accidents and users can practice training repeatedly until they feel comfortable that they know procedures well.
  • VR training is cost-effective, without the need for costly plant shutdowns VR brings cost and productivity gains as well as savings without the need to spend money on travel costs.
  • Employees can train remotely from anywhere in VR, all they need is a VR headset.
  • Immediate feedback can be received in VR as trainers can be present in the training environment with employees, this ability to collaborate and connect in real-time makes for more effective learning as mistakes can be corrected as they happen which reinforces correct learning.
  • Training can be assessed and measured properly and continuously in VR, unlike lectures where employees are assessed on their ability to remember information with virtual reality training employees can be assessed on their ability to perform their day to day procedures effectively.

Here at Luminous we offer our own hazard recognition training, take a sneak peak here…

Improve workplace safety with VR hazard recognition

Hazard recognition training is a cornerstone of workplace safety, and VR technology is revolutionizing the way it’s delivered. By providing immersive and effective training experiences, you can better help your employees to identify and mitigate hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Want a taste test of virtual reality training?

Try Hazard Recognition VR Training 

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