VIRTUAL REALITY COULD CHANGE WORKFORCE SAFETY TRAINING FOREVER

Friday, December 28, 2018

Technology is making it possible for Wyoming entrepreneurs to reach customers across the state and the country. Patrick Kelley, owner of Kelley Integrity Safety Solutions, is using 3D technology to do just that. His company is using virtual reality to deliver safety training programs and certifications. KELLEY’S INSPIRATION-- A SIMPLE DESIRE FOR WORKERS TO STAY SAFE. In the United States, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016 (OSHA, 2018), while globally, 2 million people die at work every year (Buehler, Werna, & Brown, 2017). Kelley has personally been on jobsites where seven different people have lost their lives. After one of these accidents, as he loaded up tools for a wife of a dead co-worker, he watched the couple’s five-year-old son hug his three-year-old sister, knowing that they would never see their Daddy again. This inspired him to take action to empower workers on how to stay safe, know their rights, and work in an environment where their chance of being injured would be significantly reduced. Kelley believes the best way to do this is to train workers directly so that they will demand safer working conditions and understand what each one of them can personally do to stay safe. He believes in some ways that this is more effective than regulation, because workers are the ones on the frontlines. Delivering comprehensive safety training programs has been challenging because it would typically require an employer to bring in a safety consultant, which means workers would need to take time off work to attend the training session. This is not always possible and leaves many workers uneducated and exposed. Kelley came up with a solution - deliver safety training online using virtual reality.

VIRTUAL REALITY HAS THE ABILITY TO DISRUPT THE SAFETY TRAINING INDUSTRY. Kelley initially started to put his safety courses online because clients were contacting him with a desire to train one to three people. He bought cameras and started filming live presentations and training sessions, but found that the material was too dry and lacked the engagement they were looking for. From there, the company began animating the videos to make them more interesting and have now moved to virtual reality. VR has made it possible for the training sessions to be more engaging, but also to document the level of a participants understanding. This is where the power of technology really shines. For example, in a forklift safety course, there is an operator evaluation. Both the operator evaluation and equipment training is necessary for earning a certification. This can be done in virtual reality, making the evaluation significantly more safe. If a participant runs over someone in VR, the program starts over. Training errors don’t result in real-world consequences, such as a potential accident. Kelley’s solution is a safe way to demonstrate an understanding of workplace policies and the material learned. EXPANDING OPERATIONS Kelley Integrity Safety Solutions is located in Goshen County Economic Development’s Business Incubator. Kelley said that the assistance he has received through the incubator can not be overstated. “The Goshen County Economic Development group has offered more assistance than we can even take advantage of. I would not be where I am today without their help and support. They helped to create our business plan, do proposals, create a growth plan and even took us on a trip to the University of Wyoming to look at different VR technology that is now being implemented in our training courses.” This is a great example of a business harnessing the power of working with a local economic development group and participating in a business incubator. Businesses that take advantage of these opportunities have access to a plethora of resources, insights, and connections that can help their business launch or expand. For Kelley, these connections were vital in making the jump from recorded training sessions to virtual reality. That jump has revolutionized Kelley Integrity Solutions and has the ability to disrupt the entire safety training industry. Kelley’s clients now include one of the largest oil companies in the world. The power of technology means that their next client could be any company, anywhere in the world. No longer are companies tied to geographic locations or forced to travel for work. Wyoming companies can offer more services than ever before by simply implementing the right tools and having a strong support structure behind them. For more information contact, Patrick Kelley, CET and Summer Kelley https://www.kelleyintegrity.com

REFERENCES Buehler, M., Werna, E., & Brown, M. (2017, March 23). More than 2 million people die at work each year. Here’s how to prevent it. Retrieved from World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/workplace-death-healthsafety-ilo-fluor/ OSHA. (2018, August 27). Commonly Used Statistics. Retrieved from Occupational Safety and Health Administration: https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

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