Morrison Construction invests in VR to boost site safety

(L-R) Sam Harrison (Animmersion operations director), Stephen Slessor (Morrison Construction Scottish Water operations director) and Mohamed Abdel-Wahab (senior lecturer in construction engineering, University of the West of Scotland) at the VR induction launch at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

MORRISON Construction has invested £50,000 in virtual reality (VR) in a bit to improve on-site safety.

The VR site induction, which has been developed in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and 3D animation specialists Animmersion, was recently unveiled at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre in Blantyre.

It has been designed as an “engaging way” to provided education on site safety, Morrison said. The site and construction teams from the Morrison Construction Scottish Water business were involved in the eight-month development process to create a “realistic experience” for participants.

The induction, which is set on a virtual construction site, allows users to navigate their way through three modules using goggles and hand controllers.

The first module asks the participant to identify the safety board, key staff and important locations on the site. Participants are then required to mark key site dangers with red flags, before finally undertaking an interactive task set on a site where underground service works are taking place, demonstrating the consequences of not being aware of safety risks.

Stephen Slessor, Morrison Construction Scottish Water operations manager said, “We are very excited to showcase our VR site induction, providing an engaging way for employees to receive vital safety training.

“Health and safety is our number one priority at Morrison Construction and we believe this real-time learning system can benefit the wider construction sector by enhancing traditional site processes. Using this VR induction allows participants to make mistakes in a safe environment.”

Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, senior lecturer in construction engineering at the University of the West of Scotland added, “It is great to see Morrison Construction launching this innovative VR induction. VR application in the construction industry provides an effective means for health and safety training. It helps to raise awareness of on-site hazards and ensure compliance with HSE guidelines.

“This project is an exemplar of university-industry collaboration for the application of VR. We can only make a difference and change industry’s practice through truly collaborative endeavours such as this.”