Virtual reality simulator to boost aerial training

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Operators of scissor lifts and aerial boom lifts will be able to train in virtual reality after one of just six aerial platform training simulators in Europe arrived in the UK

ALS Safety, the training arm of Riwal UK, has taken delivery of the simulator which offers immersive aerial operator skills training in a controlled environment.

The simulator works by allowing an operator to experience a realistic situation in the operating environment by wearing VR goggles and headphones.

Platform controls are identical to the ones the operator would be using when working at height.

The simulator creates an atmosphere of movement, direction and height, including life-like bumps and the sensation of swaying in the wind.

It incorporates 18 scissor life training modules and 16 boom lift modules with scenarios that include flat and rough terrain.

The training simulator allows operators to test their skills in potentially hazardous conditions, and in a safe environment.

The firm’s safety managing director Darren Verschuren said: “ALS Safety is keen to stay at the forefront of powered access training technology, and this innovation will help us do that, both in terms of promoting working at height safety and productivity.

“VR will add exciting new options to the training we can offer and is already generating a lot of interest from our clients. As such, we believe VR has a strong future in working at height training.”

ALS Safety is now offering VR aerial platform training to clients across the UK, alongside its comprehensive range of conventional International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), PASMA, CSCS courses and other industry-recognised training.

To attain IPAF accreditation, operatives must still complete training on real machines. But IPAF is consulting worldwide on use of emerging tools, including VR.

The aerial platform training simulator has been developed by Serious Labs, a Canadian company that specialises in developing VR simulators for military and civilian purposes.

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