TAMPA, Fla. — RedVector / Convergence Training, a Vector Solutions brand and the leading provider of online continuing education, training, and performance management solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial and facility management industries, has launched a new virtual reality (VR) ladder safety training experience to help businesses and employees fight falls.

The VR experience was first demonstrated at the ASSP Safety 2019 Conference and Expo on June 10.

Falls are one of the leading causes of occupational injuries and fatalities across a wide variety of industries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 20 percent of fall injuries among workers involve ladders.

From 2011 to 2016, ladders caused 836 work related fatal injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational ladder injuries are especially prevalent in the construction industry, as 81 percent of fall injuries among construction workers treated in 2011 were caused by ladders, according to the CDC.

“For a situation when someone’s life would be in danger, a virtual reality training experience can enable someone to practice in the safety of their own environment,” said Michael Schreiner, Vice President of Content for Vector Solutions, which is developing VR training to address common hazardous situations. "The VR technology stimulates vision and hearing and immerses the user in a simulated, but safe, reality."

The OSHA Portable Ladder Safety experience operates on Oculus Go and mobile devices (Android, Apple) and uses a story-based approach to emphasize the emotional elements of decision-making. Schreiner says people learn best when emotions are tied into learning.

The user is tasked with reaching a 20-foot elevated landing while using OSHA’s height and pitch requirements for placing the portable ladder in a way that maximizes its strength and stability. The scenario then evaluates whether the learner made the right decision and gives them the opportunity to see the consequences of each choice.

This ladder safety training meets OSHA’s 1926.1060 safety requirement for construction-stairways and ladders, which states that employers will provide a training program for employees who use ladders and stairways that will enable them to recognize and minimize related hazards.

To download the OSHA Portable Ladder Safety VR App, visit the App Store.