In the construction sector, site excavation is one of the most dangerous and challenging activities. Proper training can be an effective way to mitigate excavation hazards. Virtual reality (VR) has been used as an effective training tool to enhance safety performance in various industries. However, little attention has been paid to the potential of this technology for construction excavation safety training.
This study proposes an immersive VR training system for excavation safety and hazard identification. The proposed VR training system was compared with a health and safety manual via a controlled experiment.
Results based on scores obtained immediately after training indicate that VR training significantly enhanced practical performance, knowledge acquisition and self-efficacy. Results also show that knowledge was retained four weeks after training. In addition, VR training outperformed health and safety manuals regarding knowledge retention.
This study measures the practical performance to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed VR training system. Also, this study compares the VR training system with a traditional training method by measuring knowledge acquisition and retention. The results demonstrate the potential of VR as a training tool for excavation safety and hazards.
The authors would like to thank all participants taking part in this study. Dr Lovreglio would like to thank the College of Science for supporting the research through the Massey University Research Fund (MURF).
Feng, Z., Lovreglio, R., Yiu, T.W., Acosta, D.M., Sun, B. and Li, N. (2023), "Immersive virtual reality training for excavation safety and hazard identification", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-10-2022-0235
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