Safety Lab Can employees use technology to help them create, and talk about a safe work environment?

Arboriginals and Lava Lab joined forces and organised a workshop about interactive safety tools to train employers to work in a safe environment. We talked about and demonstrated efficient and appealing tools to report and discuss safety issues. The participants tried different technologies like interactive installations using Virtual Reality glasses to experience a simulation of a dangerous work environment. We ended the day with a workshop where we discussed how the use of technology will facilitate convenient tools to use on the work floor.

Companies from different sectors were joining this inspiring day: the transport-, road construction-, industrial (cleaning)- and the energy sector teamed up to discuss with each other the safety problems they face. We showed them how to design a technology solution to deal with them. The participants were different in background and sector and that created a diversity of use cases. But we discovered the use cases were all huge in overlap and similar solutions were discussed for each sector.

Students from Avans Hogeschool CMD Breda showed their amazing interactive installation The Leap Experience. This installation showed the high potential in using virtual reality to simulate a (dangerous) situation. The usage of pressure sensors and Kinect created the option for the user to navigate and interact within the virtual world.

The second demo called Don’t look down, is created by another group of students from Avans Hogeschool Breda. Wearing the Virtual Reality glasses, you experience how it feels to work on a very high platform above a city. When you look down, your body starts to shake. In the video you can see the complete installation (with wind e.g. for a full immersive experience).

Safety lab: design a safe workplace

Now that the participants experienced the ins and outs of new technology, they were ready to brainstorm. We started the brainstorm with the question: “What are the main safety issues in your sector that you think can be redesigned to improve them?”. After they explained this to each other, we divided the attendees in groups and asked them to design a concept that can solve one of the issues with new technology.

The participants came up with several ideas which they presented to each other at the end of the day. The conclusion the group experienced was that a lot of unsafe situations in a work environment can be solved using simple design solutions and technology. To be continued?

Workshop by Hans Wolbers, Klasien van de Zandschulp and Marjolein Fennis.