Why use virtual reality for medium voltage equipment and safety training?

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Could you make your medium voltage electrical installations safer? There could not be a more important goal. The latest digital training innovations can give students an edge and a perspective that wasn’t previously achievable within the confines of a classroom experience. Specifically, I’m talking about training using virtual reality (VR).

It’s an effective teaching tool because the technology allows operators to familiarize themselves with MV electrical installations and prepare them for real-life scenarios. It gives field personnel hands-on training by simulating situations in a controlled environment. VR training gives users visual, real-time, simple-to-follow instructions and operating procedures as well as key messages, which help reduce the chance of human error and direct operators to the correct equipment for handling particular tasks.

This training comes in many shapes and sizes and can be used by either individual learners or groups and either in-person or remotely. The term “virtual reality” describes a 3D, computer-generated environment that learners can explore and interact with using special electronic equipment like headsets and objects such as controllers or smart gloves that allow them to manipulate objects or perform a series of tasks. VR fully alters a user’s sensory perception.

How do VR training programs help improve electrical installation safety?

Improve safety and reduce risk: Operators learn how to handle equipment in both everyday use and in emergency or breakdown situations so that the electrical installation can be supplied with power, maintained to prevent breakdowns, and employees can troubleshoot equipment problems. Risks to operators and equipment are reduced because workers refine their skills for handling certain tasks in the virtual world to reduce risk when they encounter similar real-world situations.

Reproduce the learning environment: VR allows the simulation of work situations that are difficult to simulate elsewhere. For example, it is possible to reproduce an entire electrical installation in 3D. This allows operators to conduct training in situations that can’t easily otherwise be experienced, such as electrical installations with difficult accessibility or where safety is less than ideal.

React to emergencies: Operators learn how to respond to a crisis, such as an electrical fault that puts the installation at risk. Through simulations operators make decisions to resolve the technical issue and even communicate with virtual stakeholders like factory managers or site directors. In VR settings, they can make errors or experiment with different possible solutions without real-life consequences. Having this freedom in a virtual environment gives learners confidence to perform the right actions in a real-life setting.

Increase familiarity with equipment and procedures: Operators familiarize themselves with equipment, including its components and features, while also improving their ability to act and improve skills. For example, operators may want to familiarize themselves with a device visually or use the training to learn the isolation procedures they should use to power down part of the electrical installation in case of an electrical fault.

The more similar the operator’s learning context is to the work context, the more transferable the skills and knowledge will be because they are easily applicable. This is especially important for electrical installation safety training to mitigate risk.

VR training is rapidly growing in popularity across a wide realm of professions, including training for retail, the construction industry, law enforcement agencies, and athletics. Learn about what it can do for MV equipment installations in our white paper “How Digital Training Innovations Improve Learning: Applications in Electrical Installation Safety.”

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  • Kwanele Ntini

    6 years ago

    Wonderful innovation……we have known trainee pilots to use simulations and now us electricians thanks to ingenuity.

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