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Blog: Virtual reality training strengthens risk observation skills

Think about what could happen to someone up on a personal lift without any safety harness? Or what if there was no fire extinguisher next to the sign in emergency? Safety for the employees should be the highest priority at any workplace. Our new virtual safety training takes the user to a game-like environment.

Inside the 3D factory simulation, our employees are tasked with recognizing any potential hazards or abnormal conditions that could lead to accidents. It may not be Pokémon Go but it is interactive and fun and so far over 3000 individual trainings have been completed along with several group training sessions.

Safety should be proactive not reactive
The best way to prevent accidents is to proactively look for risk areas and correct them before accidents occur. Every corrective action creates a safer work environment and contributes to our risk assessment process. Metso strongly encourages active risk observation and reporting based on our belief that employee commitment to safety can be measured by the number of risk observations made.

Last year’s safety campaign, the Metso Safety Pledge 2016, carried the theme do not leave any hazards behind and had an emphasis on risk observation. The new virtual training was published as part of that campaign. 

The training began as a local development by Metso Chile, in partnership with Chilean company Qualitat, which specializes in modern solutions for industrial training. Parts of the actual workshop environment were modeled into the 3D simulation. Then with the help of virtual glasses, employees were given a 360° sense of really being there. The idea proved so successful that Metso virtual reality has been further developed and transformed to a computer format, making it available for all Metso employees around the world.

Better safety focus shows in increased risk observation reporting
A person skilled in making risk observations can actively process their surroundings and spot hazards immediately that might cause accidents. Metso has always encouraged a safety-focused culture and the amount of risk observations reported has been increasing annually as a result. In 2016, it was gratifying to see the number of risk observations reported rising by nearly 10% to 15,894, up from 14,696 in 2015.

Of course safety is not a game but giving employees a chance to practice in the kind of 3D space they might normally associate with fun is expected to further boost safety awareness. 

The virtual training was made in partnership with the company Qualitat from Chile:


Matleena Lujala

HSE Specialist

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