VR is raising access equipment safety standards in the UAE

Read about the latest innovation in MEWP training in the Middle East, the Virtual Reality Training Simulator, launched by Rapid Access in collaboration with Serious Labs.

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Globally, working at heights is a dangerous and risky practice that can be a cause of injuries and fatalities on construction sites if heavy machinery operators do not have the appropriate training.

However, despite this awareness – and government mandates to ensure that only the most proficient people are put behind the wheel – the nature of working in hard-to-reach areas means heavy machinery accidents, rarely but surely, occurring in the construction industry around the world.

In a world gripped by a tech-led paradigm shift, UAE-based powered access equipment rental company Rapid Access is using virtual reality (VR) to teach operators how to use heavy equipment, such as cranes and aerial boom lifts. The company has partnered with Serious Labs to design an immersive, virtual reality-based (VR) simulation of mini-games that operators can play to practice operating scissor and boom lifts in realistic construction environments.
 
These simulations become progressively harder as the user goes through the game, with each module taking a beginner approximately 90 minutes to complete. At the end of each mini-game, the user is given data on how well or poorly they performed to help them address areas for improvement. One of the popular simulation modes is the scissor life module, which was developed by Scissor Labs in collaboration with Nationwide Platform.
 
The scissor lift modules “enable operators to become fully emerged in the virtual world of a jobsite, mimicking everything they’d expect to see and feel in a real-world construction environment”, Nigel Taylor, director of Serious Labs’ Europe operation, says.

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“With technology advances, we see these machines evolve into networked systems with multiple scenarios, which have interaction between machines and avatars of people.”

Taylor says the company expects “huge demand” from access equipment rental companies and construction contractors for VR training programmes in the Middle East in the future. And with non-stop digitisation snapping at the heels of the regional construction market, it’s no wonder that Taylor believes VR has the power to make a difference.
 
VR can be put to good effect in the workplace by helping to improve site standards, but the alternative safety improvements that have been introduced for the access equipment market of late are equally promising – even if they lack the shine and relatability of VR.

Given recent developments, it is no surprise that manufactures, buyers, renters, operators, and other equipment-industry stakeholders feel satisfied and secure on their sites, as the functionality of access equipment machinery goes up a gear.

Read the full article on construction week here http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-49859-vr-is-raising-access-equipment-safety-standards-in-the-uae/