The Newest, Virtual Way to Teach Employees about Construction Hazards

Haskell and Kennesaw State University partnered to develop a virtual reality training aid to reinforce employee safety. Now, employees can train and practice construction safety using simulated programs.

The Hazard Elimination/Risk Oversight project is to thank for the safety industry’s latest virtual training tool for safety training. Haskell, an architecture, engineering, and construction firm partnered with the College of Computing and Software Engineering at Kennesaw State University to work on a new technology that would keep construction workers safer.

The Hazard Elimination/Risk Oversight (HERO) project is an immersive simulation that allows users to enter into a virtual construction site riddled with potential hazards. Using 3D and drone imagery to recreate the setting, the program presents the user with various jobsite hazards like unprotected leading edges. Users can tag objects throughout the timed simulation and are given a score based on how many at-risk observations they discovered. Users can also identify and tag safe conditions.

The HERO project has an overall goal to reinforce safety among employees by developing emerging construction technologies. Originally conceived by Dysruptek, the corporate venture arm of Haskell that handles construction technology, the program was later reimagined by a team of KSU software developers and students over a period of six months.

HERO’s recreated settings and jobsite mimic actual plants, one of which is a wastewater treatment plant in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to using 3D and drone technology, the device also was inspired by a doctoral dissertation by Hamzah Shanbari, manager of construction technology and innovation at Dysruptek. Shanbari’s dissertation at the University of Florida was an educational video game to tach high-level construction management concepts. Gathering support from Dysruptek, Haskell, KSU, and other developers was what he needed to take his video game model to the next step, according to Shanbari.

The team released the latest version of the technology in early August. 

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    January / February 2020

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