Workplace training provider Harness has unveiled the first of 20 virtual reality experiences which will be integrated into its education programmes.
The ‘Working at Heights’ asset – which is in the final stages of production – presents users with a scenario in which they must identify all potential safety hazards, and another in which they must build an unprotected edge at height.
“This affords the employee a complete idea of what it is like to work at height, and gives them the opportunity to learn a range of skills such as hazard detection while still remaining in a safe environment,” Harness, which has facilities in Brisbane and Toowoomba, as well as Papau New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia, said.
Further VR training tools will be available soon and involve working in confined spaces, working with fire, and giving first aid.
“There is always a risk that someone will complete all their training, but when they actually get to a 50-storey building or an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, they decide that line of work isn’t for them. VR technology means that trainees can experience what it’s like to be in these dangerous settings before they actually have to go there, hopefully reducing the chances of this happening,” Harness, which was established in 2006, said.
The virtual reality assets are part of a two year VR programme at Harness, which it says will increase knowledge retention in users and give its clients a higher return on investment on their training spend.
The assets are being developed by Activate Entertainment, a creative studio in Brisbane.
“It’s only a matter of time before VR becomes widespread. I’ve really enjoyed working with Harness because they are so forward thinking. They’ve taken a conventional way of doing things in a traditional industry, and thought ‘how can we make this better’? And the answer is VR,” said Activate founder and managing director Tyronne Curtis.
“Once traditional industries start to see the value in VR, it’ll start to be used more and more. And in workforce training and development, we’re already seeing the positive effects it’s having with engagement and ultimately safety,” he added.