Page 8 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - August 2019
P. 8

Crane Operator Training is on

                           the Way Up: Virtually!

                               Virtual Reality Simulator Training is
                           Reducing Budgets and Increasing Safety

                                                     by Al Pirozzoli
         Crane operators carry a significant responsibility in lifting, moving and placing loads
         across many industries. Properly preparing crane operators has taken on a whole
         new approach in skills training. It allows operators to experience reality without the
         reality itself. With Virtual Reality Simulators, they can experience a wide range of
         scenarios, including problems and mistakes that could cause serious damage and
         danger to materials, equipment and people if they happened on real jobs. Keeping
         it real is the way to increased productivity and significantly lower training costs.

               obert Granger belted up as he sat
               in the tower crane just over 265
         Rfeet in the air. The regular opera-
         tor had called in sick which gave Robert
         another shot at building his reputation
         as a “go-to” guy. This particular morning
         also celebrated his fourth month with
         this new company. He had graduated
         up from operating a gantry crane at a
         shipyard. This was his fifth time in the
         tower crane and he was grateful for the
         shot. The day started early due to sched-
         ules being accelerated. Perched above a
         high rise, Robert looked down at the city
         below and spoke to the site supervisor
         by radio. His first action was to lift and
         reposition a massive electrical genera-
         tor to the east end of the building under
         construction. Once he had positioned the
         crane hook the load hung in suspension.
           At  this height he immediately  felt
         slight wind gusts as he began a slow
         and steady lift, and a change of load
         direction  toward the designated new
         placement. As the  crane  arm swung,
         the  load moved into  a  pendulum  ef-
         fect; swaying side to side, and he found
         himself in an emergency situation. At-
         tempting to move with the swing, hop-
         ing to control it, Robert watched help-
         lessly  as the generator hit a concrete
         truck  in  the process  of pouring.  The
         truck  toppled over  and workers  were
         hit ... all this in a matter of seconds.
           Fortunately this incident took place
         in a Virtual Realty Simulator (VRS) in
         an enclosed training room session. All
         the damage had been virtual, but Rob-
         ert’s blood pressure and breathing con-
         sidered it real. That’s the key to mak-
         ing  crane  training  real  so  operators
         improve expertise and become familiar
         with  unforeseen  scenarios.  The tech-
                          continued on page 10  An operator on a CM Labs mobile crane training simulator. Photo courtesy of CM Labs

         8      Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   August 2019
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