Construction Safety Training: what role can virtualized technologies play

Medline Ruth Anderson, Denise Simmons, Clara Cheung, Rita P Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Construction is a high-risk industry in terms of workplace injuries and fatalities. Worker capability has been identified as a contributing factor to construction accidents in previous research. However, many construction workers have been found not receiving adequate or effective safety training and education, leading to workers’ lack of knowledge and skills required to work safely. Effective training programs are essential to increase workers’ safety competence and reduce construction injuries and fatalities. Yet it is unclear what types of safety training programs construction employers provide to workers and how these training programs have been decided and delivered. In addition, training facilitated by emerging visualization technologies (VT) such as virtual reality (VR) are gaining attention due to participatory nature and high level of engagement, which are missing components in the traditional classroom-based safety training. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the opportunities of adopting VT in safety training to improve outcomes. Interviews were conducted with construction professionals in the U.S. and U.K. who have experience with safety training to collect qualitative data. The findings reinforced that trainings are still offered primarily through online and classroom-based approaches but participants identified a number of training opportunities that would be appropriate for VT. The use of VT was promoted for its technological versatility and positive impact on safety behavior. Challenges in using VT related to cost, technology, organizational barriers, and industry culture. The findings suggest that the construction industry is still in the early stage of applying VT in safety training but that there are many potential opportunities that warrant further exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstruction Safety Training: what role can virtualized technologies play
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Thomas Ashton Institute


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