Virtual reality has created a revolution in worker safety and compliance training. In use by the military and industries like aviation for years before it became commercialized through the gaming industry, VR now allows workers in many industries to learn, practice and receive certification in a virtual setting that mimics dangerous real-world environments.


VR work requires more focus of the user, which drives higher retention and enhanced comprehension. The nature of VR is to completely engage the user, and with well-developed experiences, the subconscious mind stops differentiating between the virtual and real. Active engagement and isolating the user from the outside world forces 100% attention and focus on the simulation in the headset.

Muscle Memory in Virtual Training

VR has an advantage over other forms of training in that it invokes muscle memory upon repeated exposure. The actions that users perform in simulation do not have to move through the conscious mind in order to be performed in real-world situations – ensuring that safety procedures are followed involuntarily. Strong retention and muscle memory are both products of more lifelike training compared to traditional computer based training. This is especially important for simulations that mimic dangerous, remote or potentially costly environments.

Student Analytics and Assessments

Trainers are able to gather extensive analytics and record interactions within simulations. These records (both post-simulation and real-time during the experience) can be used to scrutinize how individuals perform on realistic assessments. The result is a more accurate portrayal of performance and comprehension than traditional methods of surveying or testing.

Collaboration and Remote Training

With VR, trainers do not have to be in the same physical location as participants. By the same token, researchers monitoring events in training sessions do not have to be physically present either – they can, however, participate in the same virtual space – interacting with remote students as if they were in the same room.

Construction, aviation, manufacturing, automotive and oil & gas industries currently use VR as a low-risk training method for practicing a number of functions, including installation, maintenance, OSHA compliance, tooling, safety inspection, general training, and assessment. While the technology is relatively new, worker training and compliance is an area that is driving tangible value for organizations today.

View the Design Sprint prototype we created for our client, Elite CEU, focused on Fall Protection.