Make Forklift Safety Fun and Engaging with VR Training
June 12th is National Forklift Safety Day. How does your company celebrate? Is it with a poster on the wall, leaflets and stickers, or with effective and engaging training?
Safety can be a dry topic. As one forklift trainer summed it up: “Several of my guys call in sick when they have the yearly training day. They’re used to being inside a warehouse and driving at least 8 hours a day. They don’t like to sit still and listen to a trainer.” It doesn’t help that safety days end up reinforcing the negative qualities of the profession. Instead of focusing on what drivers are doing well or what they can do to improve, safety days focus on what’s not working.
The first thing forklift operators want to know: does the VR program mimic reality? Most forklift operators are surprised to see their work environment represented digitally. Once the novelty wears off, people start getting training on a virtual simulator by turning it into a game. They want to attain gold medals and maximum scores by demonstrating their knowledge of basic safety rules. Forklift operators are challenged to show their reaction to new or dangerous scenarios that can’t be practiced in real life (e.g. losing control of a truck, avoiding oil spills).
Drivers become fully engaged in the safety process. Their pride is evident; they can finally demonstrate their forklift mastery to their colleagues. Putting non-drivers from the office on the simulator quickly reveals that the best forklift driving requires great skill. Bystanders admire the top scorers, compare driving behavior and discuss how they would approach various situations.
It’s a practical and safe way to challenge people while having them focus on core safety applications. Companies that utilize the simulator in their (re-)training report a clear shift in safety behavior. Operators became invested in the safety of their workplace and get more involved in suggestions for safety improvements.
Want to learn more about VR technology can help your business, or how VR forklift simulation can improve your training program and improve operator safety? Contact us today.