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Development of virtual reality and stereo-panoramic environments for construction safety training

Idris Jeelani (Rinker School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)
Kevin Han (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Alex Albert (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 24 April 2020

Issue publication date: 21 September 2020

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663

Abstract

Purpose

Workers and construction professionals are generally not proficient in recognizing and managing safety hazards. Although valuable, traditional training experiences have not sufficiently addressed the issue of poor hazard recognition and management in construction. Since hazard recognition and management are cognitive skills that depend on attention, visual examination and decision-making, performance assessment and feedback in an environment that is realistic and representative of actual working conditions are important. The purpose of this paper is to propose a personalized safety training protocol that is delivered using robust, realistic and immersive environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Two types of virtual environments were developed: (1) Stereo-panoramic environments using real construction scenes that were used to evaluate the performance of trainees accurately and (2) A virtual construction site, which was used to deliver various elements of instructional training. A training protocol was then designed that was aimed at improving the hazard recognition and management performance of trainees. It was delivered using the developed virtual environments. The effectiveness of the training protocol was experimentally tested with 53 participants using a before–after study.

Findings

The results present a 39% improvement in hazard recognition and a 44% improvement in hazard management performance.

Originality/value

This study combines the benefits of using a virtual environment for providing instructional training along with realistic environments (stereo-panoramic scenes) for performance assessment and feedback. The training protocol includes several new and innovative training elements that are designed to improve the hazard recognition and hazard management abilities of the trainees. Moreover, the effectiveness of training in improving hazard recognition and hazard management is measured using specific outcome variables.

Keywords

Citation

Jeelani, I., Han, K. and Albert, A. (2020), "Development of virtual reality and stereo-panoramic environments for construction safety training", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 27 No. 8, pp. 1853-1876. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-07-2019-0391

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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