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Workplace injuries can occur in almost all industries, yet they are more common in hazardous jobs. According to OSHA, employers need to cough up approximately $1 billion per week for direct Workers’ Compensation costs. That is just one of the direct costs; others being medical and legal expenses. There are several indirect costs involved with workplace injuries, too, like loss of productivity, the cost associated with replacing the employees, and repairs of the damaged equipment. Also, think about the trauma that your employees and their families go through after an accident.
Since such losses are significant, organizations try to minimize them with the help of regular safety training. Proper training can go a long way in reducing the risk of injury and save billions for your company. Organizations are warming up to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as an option for safety training. VR may not be able to prevent all kinds of workplace injuries, but it can certainly reduce the frequency and the severity of such accidents.
As per the 70:20:10 framework, 70% of the learning is experiential. 20% of your total learning comes from your peers, and only 10% comes from formal training sessions. This boils down to the fact that most of what people learn comes from their daily job experience. They learn by doing. Learning through application is one of the features of VR training. You can create realistic scenarios where your employees can have hands-on practice without having to face consequences for failing. Experiential training has a huge impact on learners, and VR tools are best suited for such training. Researchers estimate that, by 2021, one out of every three small and midsize businesses in the US will invest in VR training for their employees and reap an increase of 50% in productivity.
A study conducted by the Institute for Work & Health shows that workers in their first month are more likely to suffer from injury than those who have been employed for a year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 722 workplace deaths in 2015 that were related to objects or equipment. This is why safety onboarding is extremely important. It is critical to provide employees with hands-on training where new hires can hone their skills before actually starting on the floor.
VR offers replicated immersive experiences where new employees can work with hazardous situations and materials risk-free, with the ability to learn from mistakes. They are aware that they are in the virtual world and no matter how many errors they make, there will not be any real-world damage involved. They can make mistakes and learn from them until they are confident to take on their job responsibilities. Once their fear goes away and their confidence is boosted, they are likely to make minimal mistakes at work.
VR offers them immediate feedback. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They know where they have a tendency to go wrong and where they are strong. Instant feedback ensures that their wrong behaviors are not committed to their long-term memories. As a result, they do not repeat the mistakes they made in training when they reach the workplace.
A well-designed VR simulation is an effective teaching platform and it goes a long way in preventing workplace injuries. That way, it reduces expensive insurance claims for the organization. Not to mention how it adds value to your employees by ensuring they have a healthy life.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., our talented instructional designers can take your ideas and training goals to the virtual realm. We combine our game development prowess with sound instructional methodologies to create training experiences that foster performance improvement. Together, our team has over a decade of experience developing virtual reality solutions for top brands across the world.
If you are interested in learning more about VR training for your company, contact our team today to get started!