Page 12 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - August 2019
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         the counter consumer virtual reality                       THE VIEW FROM OSHA
         headsets were first introduced by video   Paul  Mangiafico,  a  Compliance   understood  such  as  understanding
         game companies back in the mid nine-  Assistance Specialist with Federal   load charts, boom angles, rigging and
         ties. They took the world by storm and   OSHA out of Connecticut, offered a   swing radius, so as not to slam the
         everyone wanted to play because the   number of comments on crane train-  load into something or someone.
         game graphics were more realistic.   ing  simulation.  OSHA  views  VRS   Paul  also  emphasized the  crucial
         Now, virtual reality is available not only   as  an  excellent  training  tool  but  as   importance of communications be-
         in headsets but also entire room envi-  one  piece of a larger  training  uni-  tween  the  crane  operator and the
         ronments where the person experiences   verse. VRS alone isn’t enough.  The   rigger on a job site. He gave an ex-
         very realistic sensations of sight, sound   training obviously must include real   ample of  a crane  operator lifting  a
         and motion. For the average person the   time, hands-on experience in a crane.   massive HVAC unit up to the roof of
         term, flight simulator is most commonly   Crane operators must pass an exten-  a building. The crane operator can-
         familiar where airline and military pi-  sive written test, followed by a practi-  not see the roof top and is dependent
         lots train for the real thing. According   cal in-crane test. An official asks the   on either radio communication and/
         to, “Virtual reality is a   operator to perform certain tasks on   or hand signals (a form of sign lan-
         realistic and immersive simulation of a   the actual equipment.       guage) with the rigger so a bond of
         three-dimensional environment, creat-  “It’s critically important that crane   trust is inherent in knowing the sig-
         ed using interactive software and hard-  operators are fully versed on the   nals.  All  concerned must know the
         ware, and experienced or controlled by   crane’s  functions  and  capabilities   universal hand signals so as not to
         movement of the body.”               and the standards and requirements   misinterpret what must be done as
                                              that surround it. We recently had a   the crane lifts or drops loads into
         KEEPING IT REAL                      tragic  accident  here  in  Connecticut   place. Generally speaking,  crane
           We’ve come a long way from virtual   on the I-95 highway when a crane op-  accidents are catastrophic. “Sitting
         reality video games to serious training   erator drove along the highway with   in  one of these large cranes  can be
         scenarios in many categories of business,   the crane boom up in the air and hit   intimidating. These guys deserve a
         particularly crane  operations.  Simula-  power lines,” Paul said. In this regard,   lot of credit for what they do,” added
         tors in various forms are showing up   preparation for crane operators goes   Paul. OSHA sees training as a holis-
         more and more in a variety of companies   well beyond VRS and in-cab train-  tic process that encompasses a great
         as well as training centers and in some   ing. OSHA is always concerned that   deal of knowledge and aptitude; sim-
         colleges and trade schools. VRS has be-  all the critical basics are covered and   ulator training is but one facet.
         come a big part of training for operators
         of crane equipment. Using VRS has re-  popular  phrase,  “Keeping  it  real,”  ap-  the same way. It also offers the ability
         sulted  in  decreased  accidents  and  bet-  plies in VRS. The operator in training   to present the operator with a variety
         ter prepared operators. The cost of VRS   connects the virtual with the real. One   of crane makes and models for diverse
         training is essentially determined by the   of the ways to enhance that is not only   training and preparation.
         depth of the realistic experience desired.   seeing the view from the crane cab,   In an aerial crane VRS training situ-
         VRS training functions just like being   but allowing the operator to see the   ation, the operator can actually see the
         tarined on a real crane.           controls,  which  brings  a deeper sense   shadow of the load being moved which
           With VRS the feel and sense of   of personal  and tactile engagement.   amplifies realism in depth perception.
         weight, movement, collision sensations   The  higher  quality VRS systems  are   This combined with sound and physi-
         that occur when hitting another object   designed to provide controls that look   cal sensations make for a realistic ex-
         are all very real to the senses. The old   like real crane controls and function in   perience. One of the keys to experience
                                                                               realism  is  the  graphic  quality of  the
                                                                               software’s  resolution  in  the imagery
                                                                               presented. The software isn’t the only
                                                                               thing that makes “virtual” convince the
                                                                               mind of “reality.” Hardware is just as
                                                                               vital. LED displays need what’s called,
                                                                               Field  of  View  (FOV).  The  larger  the
                                                                               FOV, the better the realism can con-
                                                                               vince  the  mind.  VRS training  is  es-
                                                                               sentially all about the level of realism
                                                                               for the operator. New technology offers
                                                                               high-fidelity simulations based on vari-
                                                                               ous  engineering  specifications.  Obvi-
                                                                               ously, the higher the quality experience
                                                                               of realism, the easier it is for operators
                                                                               to train efficiently and cost effectively.
                                                                               VRS allows hitting the reset button at
                                                                               any time so if any virtual damage is
                                                                               done, that skill can be developed. The
                                                                               companies that employ cranes and op-
                                                                               erators  greatly  benefit  because  they
                                                                               save time and money in preparing
         A CIS trainer conducts a class for future crane operators. Photo courtesy of Crane Industry Services, LLC  continued on page 14
         12     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   August 2019
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