Virtual photoreality for safety education

Introduction and background

Construction plays a significant role in economic development all over the world, contributing $8.7 trillion and accounting for 12.2% of the world’s economy (Perspectives & Economics, 2013). Despite its important contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (Raheem & Hinze, 2014), the construction sector accounts for 31% of all fatalities all over the world (Hamalainen, Saarela, & Takala, 2009; Lingard et al., 2013). The high rate of construction accidents and fatal injuries causes many serious issues such as cost overruns and time delays (Le, Lee, & Park, 2014), which negatively affects project performance (Hussain, Pedro, Lee, Pham, & Park, 2018). To promote safety at construction jobsites, safety' education at the tertiary' level plays a very important role in providing sufficient safety knowledge and skills before graduates enter construction workplaces (Park & Kim, 2013). However, safety curricula have been considered low priority (Le, Pedro, Pham, & Park, 2016). Moreover, safety courses are isolated and learning methods have not engaged learners (Pedro, Le, & Park, 2015). As a result, learners feel bored and distracted, and safety education has failed to impart sufficient safety knowledge and professional skills to learners (Pedro, Pham, Kim, & Park, 2018).

With the emergence of state-of-the-art technology', Virtual Reality (VR) has proven advantageous in various disciplines such as life sciences (Adedokun et al., 2012), factories (Rahim et al., 2013), geography (Krakowka, 2012), and education (Sampaio, Henriques, & Martins, 2010). VR is created by computer-based 3D models to develop virtual environments in which learners can interact with 3D worlds (Pedro, Chien, & Park, 2018). For construction safety management, scholars have applied VR to provide interactive and experiential learning environments for students, such as the Design-for-Safety-Process system (Hadikusumo & Rowlinson, 2002), Cave Automatic Virtual Environments (Perlman, Sacks, & Barak, 2014), System for Augmented Virtuality Environments (Albert, Hallowell, Kleiner, Chen, & Golparvar-Fard, 2014), the Visualized Safety' Management System (Park & Kim, 2013) and the Multiuser Virtual Safety Training System (Li, Chan, & Skitmore, 2012). For construction safety education, a small amount of research has adapted VR technology, including VR-based learning framework (Le, Pedro, Lint, et al., 2015), a social VR-based construction safety education system (Le, Pedro, & Park, 2015) and a pilot study for a 3D game environment (Lin, Son, & Rojas, 2011). However, a 3D-VR limitation is the lack of real-world visibility (Pham, Pedro, Le, Lee, & Park, 2019). To overcome this issue, VP has emerged as an innovative pedagogic method, which provides a real-world environment (Pham, Dao, Pedro, et al., 2018). The rationale behind VP technology is a projection of spherical images to render the surroundings, where a camera view is positioned to realize human-eye behaviour. There has not been a lot of research on applying VP to construction training (Eiris, Gheisari, & Esmaeili, 2018). One example is that Jeelani et al. developed an immersive personalized training environment for construction workers using VP technology (2017). Moreover, VP has been proven an energy-efficient tool for education and training (Pham, Dao, Kim, Cho, & Park, 2018). Despite its many advantages, more research is needed to adapt VP as a potential for improving construction safety education.

This chapter proposes an innovative learning approach for construction safety education using the VP platform. A VP-based learning framework is developed, consisting of three modules: Construction Accident Learning (CAL), Construction Hazard Investigation (CHI) and Construction Safety Performance (CSP). A VP prototype is proposed, derived from accident case studies that are common on construction jobsites. Then, validation of this VP platform is explored by educators, construction managers and students, and learning outcome effectiveness is reviewed. Findings reveal that VP would be a potential pedagogic method for enhancing construction safety education.

Research methodology

The main objective of this chapter is to propose an innovative learning approach for construction safety education using VP technology. To achieve this objective, this chapter begins with a literature review to investigate the importance of safety education for reducing construction accidents at the workplace. The literature review reveals that even though VP has been applied and proven beneficial in many disciplines, it has not been considered potential pedagogy in safety education. Therefore, it motivates the development of VP-based learning framework for safety education. A VP prototype is developed based on common accident case studies on real construction sites. After that, validation is implemented by participants through interviews and exams. Finally, discussion and recommendations reveal the advantages and limitations of a VP-based learning approach as well as recommend future work (see Figure 14.1).

Research methodology

Figure 14.1 Research methodology.

VP-based learning framework

This section describes an innovative VP-based learning framework for improving construction safety education. As depicted in Figure 14.2, the framework consists of three (CAL, CHI and CSP) modules assisted by a unique VP platform throughout the teaching-learning activities. The innovative learning approach emphasizes the importance of positioning students in the centre of safety learning and promotes the interaction and engagement of learners.

Firstly, CAL aims to provide construction accident lessons through case- based learning. The educator disseminates common construction accident cases to students. Following educator instruction, students carry out online discussions through a chatroom in the VP platform. During discussions, learners can easily upload or share e-materials (images, videos, animation and e-documents) related to accident case being analysed. This function supports online learning. Students can raise questions to educators and classmates in the classroom or in the chatroom on the VP platform. Then, the educator explains and synthesizes each accident case to ensure students thoroughly understand the lesson before moving to the next step.

VP-based learning framework

Figure 14.2 VP-based learning framework.

To apply the knowledge obtained in CAL, students are required to investigate and inspect potential hazards in virtual jobsites in CHI. CHI provides an experiential learning environment using the VP platform (see Figure 14.3). Students play the role of safety manager to explores a virtual jobsite, identify dangerous scenarios and recognize potential hazards, assigned by hotspots. As

Photoreality prototype application

Figure 14.3 Photoreality prototype application.

depicted in the CHI module in Figure 14.4a, each hotspot includes hazard information and safety e-materials to assist learners in identifying potential hazards. During hazard recognition and safety knowledge reflection, the online chatroom in the VP platfonn supports students in raising question and having discussions with classmates and educators. As in CAL, users can easily upload or share e-materials through the chatroom. In addition to knowledge dissemination, CHI is designed to help learners improve safety skills before entering a real construction workplace.

To assess knowledge and skills obtained from previous modules, students take part in CSP to play simulation testing games (see Figures 14.4a and 14.4b). Taking on the role of safety manager, students search a virtual construction jobsite and tag potential hazards with exclamation signs. After hazard identification, students are required to complete a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), including type of accident, element, accident description, root causes of hazard, etc. After correctly analysing a hazard, students move on to the next. Wrong answers result in negative scores. Due to the importance of prevention methods for eliminating hazards at workplace, students must submit sequence steps for safe practice in JHA. The VP platform automatically records game- based test results to assess the safety performance of the learner.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >