Publications / 2020 Proceedings of the 37th ISARC, Kitakyushu, Japan

Scenario-Based Construction Safety Training Platform Using Virtual Reality

Ankit Gupta and Koshy Varghese
Pages 892-899 (2020 Proceedings of the 37th ISARC, Kitakyushu, Japan, ISBN 978-952-94-3634-7, ISSN 2413-5844)

Learning by doing creates a marked impact on a trainee's cognitive ability. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) etc. aid in developing platforms to enhance the learning experience of users. These technologies can be particularly effective in construction sites which are complex and contain hazards difficult to foresee. These technologies can enable the formulation of robust safety training procedures that will enhance awareness among workers about workplace risks and help to mitigate the same. Currently, the customized development and expense in execution of these digital platforms are major deterrents in its practical deployment and optimum utilization. In this study, a framework is proposed for the design and development of a VR platform for safety training. The proposed framework classified as Decision-Making Accident Scenario (DMAS) - produces an information skeleton which is derived out of an assessment of potential accidental situations emerging out of a functioning construction site. This skeleton works as a design document to conceptualize the accident scenario as per the identified accidental situation. In each scenario, trainees need to analyze simulated situations, identify risks, and make informed decisions about the mitigation measures which create alternate outcomes. Immersive VR experience of the scenario is built with the help of a gaming engine Unity and Google VR SDK. Smartphone-based VR platform is suggested for user interaction as it is economical to deploy. A pilot study to evaluate this proposed framework was experimentally executed by developing cases related to an ongoing project and synthesizing the different scenarios and storylines into the VR platform. This was tested on three users, and preliminary findings empirically indicated that that safety training using the aforementioned digital platform was significantly more effective in creating better understanding of safety practices on-site.

Keywords: Virtual Reality (VR); Unity; Decision Making Scenario; Construction Safety Training