How can you effectively train employees to deal with serious safety risks without putting them at risk in the process?
That was the problem EDF Energy asked Atticus Digital to help solve as the company looked to improve the Risk Perception training they provide employees. The training is important because it helps assess and minimise the possibility of an accident occurring in the workplace.
Our solution was to build a virtual reality version of an EDF Energy power station where employees could put their health & safety training into action, interacting in spaces where hazards are present without the actual risk involved.
Using an HTC Vive headset, employees navigate a 360˚ computer generated simulation of the power station complete with hazards that employees must identify and address by following correct safety procedures.
The VR simulation allows participants to interact with and control various items within the environment. They start in the tutorial room where they learn the different controls and interactions they must perform during the training. This is followed with a briefing video.
The training then begins as employees step out into a corridor where they must look around and explore the space. The HTC Vive controllers allow participants to teleport around the space, pick up items and interact with the environment. Hazards include rubbish not placed in bins, missing or out-of-test-date fire extinguishers, open grating, coiled power leads and other hazards.
When employees identify a hazard they must follow the procedure of raising a condition report (CR) which they do using the trigger button on the HTC Vive controller. Then they choose the appropriate action needed to mitigate the risk from a scroll-down menu of options.
Before the employee starts the training experience they enter their name and payroll number for data collection. This allows the recording of their percentage scores with a list of hazards they identified or missed once they have completed the training.
By evaluating their own VR training employees are able to see which hazards they missed or any procedures they did not follow correctly, and so learn where they need to improve. This also gives their Team Leader a good idea of areas where development needs to focus on risk perception. Following the roll-out of the VR Health & Safety App we have received some great feedback, with 20% of staff saying they loved it (and I mean really loved it), and 70% saying they liked it. What a resounding success for our health & safety training app with a 90% approval rating!
Atticus has created several VR learning and development projects for EDF Energy. One of which was a 10-minute sustainability training VR experience where employees learned the business benefits of executing a series of simple sustainability actions. Previously EDF Energy staff received this training in the form of a 5-hour Powerpoint presentation and knowledge retention for this training was between 10% and 20%. The VR experience boosted knowledge retention to between 80% and 90%.
Based on the success of the current VR work, we are planning new VR safety projects that include dealing with fire hazards and putting out fires using fire extinguishers and emergency evacuation procedures.
This article has been updated to include employee feedback following the roll-out of the Health & Safety App.