Industry News

Virtual Reality Training Aid for Construction Jobsites

Architecture, engineering, and construction firm Haskell (Jacksonville, Florida, USA) has partnered with Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Georgia, USA) to develop an innovative virtual reality training aid.

The project, known as the hazard elimination/risk oversight (HERO) program, is an immersive simulation that teleports users into a virtual construction site riddled with potential hazards in an effort to reinforce employee safety training.

How the Program Works

Originally conceived by Dysruptek, the corporate venture arm of Haskell tasked with developing emerging construction technologies, the program was refined by a team of Kennesaw State software developers and students over a six-month period.

HERO works by mimicking an actual wastewater treatment plant project handled by Haskell in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. Using three-dimensional (3-D) and drone imagery to recreate the setting, the program is populated by randomized characters and hazards, such as unprotected leading edges, in order to test the users’ ability to recognize jobsite hazards.

Users can tag objects spread throughout the timed simulation and are given a score based on how many at-risk observations they discovered. In addition, users can identify safe conditions and tag them accordingly.

Finding Additional Hazards

“We saw this as a way to gamify our safety protocols and make it stickier so that folks in the field have a better grasp on what they’ve received training for,” said Cutler Knupp, director of strategy and technology investments at Dysruptek.

“What we noticed is those on jobsites sometimes don’t look for potential hazards beyond the purview of what they were working on,” Knupp added. “For instance, an excavator operator might not always notice electrical hazards. Using HERO, we can put them in a safe environment to strengthen their training.”

A demonstration video of the system can be viewed here:

For more information, contact: Kennesaw State University, (470) 578-6000,