Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading resource for security and fire news in the industry. James was previously Editor of Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer magazine.
January 13, 2021

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Wireless Access Control Report 2021

Training

How VR is producing more effective and engaging fire safety training

As traditional methods of training continue to evolve, could VR be the next step in providing the most realistic and effective experience yet? In an interview with IFSEC Global’s sister title, Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP), Luke Robinson, H&S Programme, Strategy and Innovation Manager at Wincanton PLC, explained how using immersive training technology has improved the company’s fire safety training.Luke Robinson

As a British-based transport and logistics services provider, health and safety is a top priority for Luke and the team. His enthusiasm for making training practices more immersive and engaging led him to the development of a RoSPA approved fire safety training course using virtual reality (VR) and a further approved course for accident investigation. Both have achieved a 100% success rate and an A rating for delivery.

A finalist in SHP’s Trailblazer in Technology Award for 2020, Luke said that the sessions have improved attendance rates compared to previous courses, and increased engagement from trainees while in the classroom. He noted it’s been particularly well-received by colleagues who are more ‘hands-on’ and have a kinaesthetic learning preference.

One trainee commented: “I have learnt how to inspect and correct any failings with fire safety in my place of work and home.”

Feedback from other attendees highlights how virtual reality provides a more immersive experience for colleagues, culminating in genuine behaviour changes in the trainees after the course with safer and faster decision making.

Wincanton-FireSAfetyTraining-VR-21

A 360⁰ camera captures imagery all around the participant to develop a risk assessment and accident investigation package that provides realistic depth perception. While not every site has the Wi-Fi capabilities to handle the signal, Wincanton’s training team has invested in a mobile router solution for more remote sites. Class sizes vary between 12 and 16 people with one or two headsets split between the group.

Responding to whether any notable changes had been seen in fire risk management from the VR training, Luke commented: “Colleagues are even more proactive and proud to let the training team know how they are applying the training. We estimate 75% will positively change their behaviours post course. Perception of fire risk is the biggest problem in fire training, and it is a real gamechanger if people see that that as a real risk. We are noticing people checking fire doors, checking fire extinguishers and running fire drills.”

Read the full interview with Luke Robinson to find out more about the VR fire safety training course.

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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