Customised, virtual-reality health and safety training

This project has been conducted by Dr Zulfikar Adamu of Southbank University, with funding from the Royal Charter International Research Award 2018, of which Dr Adamu was a co-winner. The Awards is supported by the BRE Trust and the Worshipful Company  of Constructors.

The research at Southbank University is developing a virtual-reality tool to deliver training that is designed to improve health and safety in the construction industry. It includes a psychometric test to assess key personality traits for each trainee, the outcomes of which are used to customise the virtual-reality experience so that the training benefits are enhanced.

The trainee then becomes a ‘player’ in a virtual-reality, health and safety training ‘game’, which is set in a construction workplace with a range of hazards (such as, falling equipment, fire and working at heights),  adapted to the player’s particular personality and needs.

Other variables include the weather, such as rain, wind, snow and lightning, set to varying strengths, and inventory such as equipment and tools – so the player’s ability to, for example,  work safely on scaffolding on a windy day can be tested and lessons learned. The impacts of health issues such as dust and vibration, and the player’s ability to appropriately deal with these, can also be included.

The next steps are to finalise the desk top application for use on laptops, etc, and then to enable it to be  played at home on smart TVs – bringing construction into the home in a way that could potentially help to attract new talent to the industry. The final step will be to make a web accessible version of the game so it can be streamed live.

The development of the construction site health and safety training tool, explained by Dr. Zulfikar Adamu tells us about the project.