Offshore workers are set to be better prepared for helicopter safety training with innovative technology being launched at a leading UK safety training provider.
Falck Safety Services UK (Falck) has revealed new 360°immersive technology at the OPITO Safety & Competence Conference being held in Kuala Lumpur.
The virtual reality immersive experience, which can be best viewed with VR goggles and hand-held devices, gives delegates the most realistic understanding of what to expect during the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) exercise.
The leading training, training management and competency service company, which has multiple training centres in Aberdeen and North East England, is believed to be the first offshore training organisation in the country to introduce the technology.
The 360°immersive footage will be used as an induction training aid at the UK centres to fully prepare delegates for the escape training before entering the pool and it's hoped the technology will help to eliminate any concerns or fears prior to the exercise.
Falck UK managing director, Duncan Bonner, said: “The 360°technology will improve the experience for our customers and their workforce by providing as much information as possible about the training and what their personnel will experience throughout the HUET exercise.
“As a training and training management company, we are always at the forefront of digital advancements within the industry and this has been a small investment which will make a remarkable difference to our customers. They will be more prepared for the HUET exercises before they even wet their feet, as this technology provides a very realistic experience but in a controlled and safe environment.”
The footage is set to be used by Falck's instructors during classroom induction training, so they can go through each element of the escape exercise stage by stage, giving delegates a clear understanding of what to expect and, hopefully, eliminate concerns for those who feel anxious prior to completing the in-water exercise.
Assistant Training Centre Manager, Rory Soutar said: “This is set to be an enormous help for people who struggle with the pool exercises and a good training aid for people who are apprehensive or anxious about what to expect if it is their first experience of offshore safety training.
“For weak swimmers, it gives us a chance to coach them more effectively which will help to build their confidence and put them more at ease before entering the pool. It's important that customers are able to view the footage of the exercises from an underwater perspective, showing each stage of the exercise, in addition to the demonstration that we conduct pool-side. It is the most realistic digital experience we can offer delegates in the current market and it will undoubtedly be a fantastic training tool for our instructors and our customers.”
Launching at the OPITO Safety Conference today, the technology, supported by Neil Weightman Digital in Aberdeen, will now be rolled out across the UK centres with plans to roll it out globally across Falck's additional 33 safety training centres in the near future.
The 360° technology is also set to be used to create a fire training scenario, with filming taking place before the end of the year. The footage will be used to provide a similar training aid for instructors who are delivering offshore firefighting courses within the UK centres.
Into early 2019 the company will look at creating similar 360° immersive environments for wind turbine training at Falck's custom built renewable wind turbine tower in Teesside, North East England.