Virtual Reality Training Program Created for Forklift Operators

A NIOSH grant funded Tactus Technologies' development of the 3D Forklift Trainer. The Amherst, N.Y. company is a spinoff from the University of Buffalo.

Using a NIOSH grant, a company named Tactus Technologies has developed a virtual reality training program for forklift operators that the company's leaders believe will reduce injuries and deaths associated with forklift accidents. The 3D Forklift Trainer allows operators to practice handling a variety of safety challenges on a system similar to a video game, with a steering wheel, joystick, and pedals, inside virtual warehouses, elevators, and other settings, Cory Nealon, a media relations manager for the University of Buffalo (UB), reported March 8. Tactus Technologies is a spinoff company of the university.

The 3D Forklift Trainer allows operators to practice handling a variety of safety challenges on a system similar to a video game. (Tactus Technologies image)"Until recently, such virtual reality technologies were only available to military and university laboratories, By pioneering the use of gaming technology and computers in our software, we are able to offer the 3D forklift simulator at a low and reasonable cost for industrial safety training," Thenkurussi "Kesh" Kesavadas, co-founder of the company and UB professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, said in Nealon's article. Kesavadas also is the director of the UB Virtual Reality Lab.

The company's other co-founder and CEO, Jim Mayrose, said VR training has a key advantage over traditional forklift training, which includes classroom instruction, videos, and observation before operators get behind the wheel to learn on the job. "The problem is that this type of training is passive rather than interactive," Mayrose said. "Companies using our product will find that they have shorter training cycles with less supervision needed and, most importantly, a safer environment."

On average, it takes three to four hours to complete the simulator program, Nealon reported.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue