Near Miss Simulator
By using virtual reality we aim to simulate a near miss in a virtual working scenario. This is to enable workers to experience a near miss without actually being in a position of risk. Workers who have been involved in a near miss are considered to have possibily some of the most robust safety behaviours within the Industry. Likewise those who have learnt from experience are less likely to be involved in incidents.
- 2 track workers fatalities a year from train strikes
- 1.6 M€ cost associated with fatalities
Many of our services are required to be undertaken in hazardous environment such as live highways, railways and processing facilities. We have mature and robust processes and procedures to minimise the risk to our workers, however accidents still occur – often due to inappropriate safety behaviours. However, those of our workers who have been involved in a near miss have much better safety behaviours.
By using virtual reality we can simulate a near miss in a work environment to give our workers the experience of a near miss without actually putting them at risk. Scenarios would be established which involve undertaking a standard work task within a hazardous environment such as carrying out work on a live highways e.g. in the verge; or on a railway with an adjacent line open. This would provide a behavioral ‘shock’ that will stimulate safe behaviours in the real work environment. In addition, most safety and task briefings are carried out in the abstract i.e. often they are just verbal briefings, and at best they may involve the use of diagrams or site drawings. By using virtual reality we can provide a rich and immersive simulation of the work site to enable site hazards to be identified and reviewed, and for work activities to be rehearsed before entering the hazardous site environment.
The project has been scoped with the rail sector maintenance services in mind, however is applicable to any operational roles that are conducted in safety critical environments. The development of the Near Miss Simulator is still in the early stages of development. A proof of concept has been generalted to prove the idea and represent that virtual reality combined with other technologies can fully immerse an individual for safety training purposes.