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Immersive virtual reality training for excavation safety and hazard identification

Zhenan Feng (School of Built Environment, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Ruggiero Lovreglio (School of Built Environment, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Tak Wing Yiu (School of Built Environment, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Dwayne Mark Acosta (School of Built Environment, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Banghao Sun (School of Built Environment, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Nan Li (Department of Construction Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 16 February 2023

324

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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).

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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