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Exploring Opportunities to Integrate Virtual Reality into Construction and Transportation Safety Training

Authors: Derek Pfeffer

Faculty Mentor:  Madeline Polmear

College:  Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


Some studies have shown that virtual reality technology can be successful when implemented into construction and transportation safety training courses. However, since this is only a recent discovery, this new technology has yet to be integrated into national safety training. This research analyzes the current state of safety training in construction and transportation environments as well as the plausibility of implementing virtual reality technology into safety training on a larger scale. To do so, the American Traffic Safety Services Association’s (ATSSA) website was inspected to gather data about existing safety training. Each course offered on their website was analyzed in order to acquire information about the courses’ topics, lengths, formats (online, classroom, etc.), and certifications. The results showed that a majority of safety courses are taught in a classroom setting, which would certainly enable the use of virtual reality during safety training. Now that a solid base of data has been gathered, the next step is to interview different employees and prominent figures in the construction and transportation safety field to build on the data that has been collected. This study aims to explore opportunities to integrate VR into construction and transportation safety training.

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7 Responses
  1. Madeline

    In your Future Research, what would you want to ask construction workers in an interview to better understand the integration of VT in their training?

    1. Derek Pfeffer

      Hey Madeline,
      Great question. I would probably begin by asking if they have had any experiences with using VR in safety training. If they had, I would ask for details on the experience and whether they found it engaging or practical, how efficient it was, etc. If they hadn’t, I might ask whether they would prefer a VR safety training course. I could also ask general safety training questions, such as things they wish could be improved upon in safety training or things that are already working well (then try and apply VR training to solve those problems that need improvement). Thank you for the question!

  2. Hwangbo Bae

    Very interesting research. One of the things that class-based safety training is useful is that the participants can interact with other members. I wonder if Virtual Reality can afford such opportunities to the trainees that they can also learn from each other.

    1. Derek Pfeffer

      Hey Hwangbo,
      Thank you for the comment! I agree that the interactivity that comes with classroom-based training is beneficial for safety training. Although this might require a deeper look into the capabilities of VR training, I do think that it would be possible to have multiple trainees set up on the same VR device in order to facilitate some sort of interaction among each other.. However, this is a great point and something for people to keep in mind when inevitably developing new VR training courses.

  3. Hwangbo Bae

    Interesting research. I left a comment but it somehow disappeared. I rewrite my comment again.

    One of the things that trainees take advantage of class-based safety training is that they can interact and learn from each other. I wonder if Virtual Reality can afford such opportunities to the trainees.