Tactus Technologies has created a video game of sorts for training forklift operators. The company received a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop a virtual reality simulator for training purposes with the intent that the improved training would help reduce the number of serious and fatal workplace accidents attributed to forklifts each year.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 85 people are killed each year in forklift accidents. Nearly 35,000 people are seriously injured on an annual basis and another 60,000 are injured but their injuries are not classified as serious.
The company advertises that it can create a virtual replica of a work environment -whether that’s a warehouse, retail space or plant – allowing workers to train on forklift operation in the environment in which they will actually use the machinery. The simulator gives both new and seasoned operators a chance to gain experience behind the wheel in a safe environment.
The simulator can help fix bad habits acquired by operators as well as train new operators to recognize and react to common safety issues on a jobsite, like navigating ramps and railroad crossings.
Tactus Technologies says that it takes advantage of readily available gaming apparatus, like a steering wheel, to make the forklift simulator available to more audiences. The cost of similar safety programs has previously prohibited their use by businesses, confining the potential life-saving training to university labs and the military.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Virtual Reality Training Program Created for Forklift Operators,” March 11, 2013