Confined Spaces can be hazardous no matter the situation, but ensuring workers are aware and prepared for the challenges they may face can be the difference between life and death. Draeger recognized the need for additive instruction, and teamed up with FreeRangeXR to create the Draeger Confined Space Entry Simulation. In a 2017 study, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that 60% of fatalities are workers attempting to rescue someone else. Among these fatalities, none had a rescue plan in place, nor did they follow written protocol for these situations. Based on these statistics alone, doing the minimal lesson plan is not enough and a better solution is needed. We set out to create a lesson plan that helps Draeger promote proper preparation and overall safety.
After conducting substantial research and consulting subject matter experts, we were able to build a VR module down to the smallest detail. Students first select their gear, ensure it is functioning properly, and check the work permit. They then make sure the space is safe to enter, correctly use an air blower and check the gas meter, call for a hole watch, call for emergency help, and shut down a possible gas leak.
We replicated equipment specific to Draeger, such as the atmospheric meter, so workers can recognize it in the real world. We also conducted the training in a wastewater treatment plant, to emulate a customer facility. At the end of each lesson users are evaluated on whether they completed each step successfully. If they fail any part of the lesson, they are able to go back and retry, to see what they did wrong and make corrections. In order to make the experience more fun, workers can compete with each other to earn a high score, making the lesson both educational and encouraging further use through competition.
Virtual Reality is a highly effective and accessible method when it comes to teaching safety protocol. VR allows students to build muscle memory and recognize potential hazards in the safety of a controlled environment. Because the lesson is virtual it is easily accessible at any time and avoids putting workers in a dangerous situation for training. Students can jump back into the module anytime, mastering the lesson plan before they go into a real world situation. By utilizing this lesson plan, the Draeger customers are able to give workers and supervisors confidence that their peers are prepared to effectively avoid emergencies and handle one should it arise.
Draeger has been a long time sponsor of the WEFTEC Operations Challenge and is excited to participate again for 2022. This year, Draeger will be sponsoring the Operations Challenge, featuring the FreeRangeXR developed Confined Space Entry Simulation. For more information contact us at XRSales@Frexr.com. To learn more about Confined Space Entry from Draeger visit their website.