UK rental company Nationwide Platforms has purchased two Virtual Reality scissor lift simulators as part of its IPAF training programme.
It claims to be the one of the first rental companies in Europe to utilise the technology and says it intends to add more simulators in the future. The first units arrive next month.
While the technology was originally developed as a boom lift simulator, Nationwide has worked with Canadian developer Serious Labs and Skyjack to create a series of four training scenarios involving the operation of scissor lifts.
Each training unit consists of a replica platform and control panel as well as a full-motion-tracking virtual reality headset and actuator motion base that realistically mimics the sensation of operating a scissor lift. The scenarios cover a range of applications including different ground conditions, restricted access, overhead hazards, along with loading and unloading.
The simulators allow trainers to provide live feedback on operating skills, behaviour and safe operation. They can also identify areas in which further training or refresher courses may be required. They are compact at 1.2 by 2.4 metres and will be based at the company’s training centres but can be easily moved to customer sites if and when required.
Operations director Peter Douglas said: “We are always looking for new ways to assist the training needs of our customers. Our new VR training will combine ground-breaking virtual reality with a true to life look and feel of operating an access platform. Designed to fully complement our range of IPAF training, we are confident this blended learning approach will ultimately lead to more rounded and competent operators.”
“We feel this technology perfectly bridges the gap between theory and practical training. The simulators will allow operators to work through complex scenarios replicating real life training hazards without the risk. The ability for operators to make mistakes in a safe and controlled environment not only prepares them for how to react to danger, but also ultimately provides them with valuable experience that we feel will reduce the number of accidents on site as well as damage to buildings and equipment.”