In the near future, all new starters on Morrison Construction sites might have to don virtual reality goggles for their safety briefings.
The virtual reality induction was unveiled yesterday at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre in Blantyre.
The contractor has invested £50,000 in the technology, developed in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and 3D animation specialists Animmersion.
The site and construction teams from the Morrison Construction Scottish Water business were heavily involved in the eight-month development process to create a realistic experience for induction participants.
The induction, set in a Computer-Generated Imagery construction site, allows users to immerse themselves in the animated environment as they navigate their way through three modules using headset and hand controllers.
These modules allow users to become familiar with a construction site, recognise common dangers and complete a simple activity on site emphasising the importance of correct safety procedures. The first module, for example, asks the participant to identify the safety board, key staff and important locations such as the muster point on site.
Participants are then required to mark key site dangers such as buried services with red flags, receiving a mark on the completion of the second module.
An interactive task in the third module is set on a site where underground services works are taking place demonstrating the consequences of not being aware of safety risks.
Morrison Construction Scottish Water operations director Stephen Slessor said: “We are very excited to showcase our VR site induction, providing an engaging way for employees to receive vital safety training. Today marks this significant investment in site safety by Morrison Construction and I would like to thank members of our team and our project partners for their valued contributions.”
University of the West of Scotland senior lecturer in construction engineering Mohamed Abdel-Wahab said: “It is great to see Morrison Construction launching this innovative VR induction. VR application in the construction industry provides an effective means for health and safety training. It helps to raise awareness of on-site hazards and ensure compliance with HSE guidelines, thereby reducing the likelihood of on-site incidents. This project is an exemplar of university-industry collaboration for the application of VR. We can only make a difference and change industry’s practice through truly collaborative endeavours such as this."