AZ Hurt On the JobWhen it comes to getting hurt at work and possible workers compensation claims, there is only so much employers can do. Training cannot possibly cover all hazards in detail, not without putting employees at risk. That is, until now.

New virtual reality technology makes it possible for workers to experience all sorts of situations during training, even very dangerous ones. Being able to operate forklifts and large construction equipment using virtual reality, for instance, is completely possible, thanks to software company Tactus Technologies (among others). Similar virtual reality programs enable workers to take part in driving and flying simulation, and, for military personnel, even realistic combat scenarios.

Tackling Disaster Head-First

In 2013, 917,100 work injuries resulted in employees missing at least some work (eight days on average). Also in 2013, 170,450 workers sustained back injuries, 229,190 suffered from trip, slip, and fall injuries, and another 327,060 reported strains, sprains, and tears. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of these injuries happen during emergency situations. In the heat of the moment and/or several years after classroom-style training, employees can easily forget the best ways to act in dire circumstances.

Virtual reality may be able to change that. With the virtual reality programs, employers do not have to advise employees on what to do if they are in an emergency situation — if a plane is going down, if company cars spin out of control, or if heavy construction equipment abruptly malfunctions. Instead, they can actually put workers right in these situations (in virtual reality, of course) and teach them exactly how to handle it.

A Solution To Trauma?

Workers compensation claims and workers compensation attorneys deal with much more than just physical injury. Psychiatry injuries “count” more often than people think — and, in some cases, employers may be able to reduce trauma by immersing workers into difficult, real-life situations using controlled virtual reality programming. For instance, the military is experimenting with using virtual reality during its training to expose soldiers to real, life-like war combat before it is actually unfolding around them.

Believe it or not, virtual reality may do a great deal to minimize work injuries. Thanks to VR, training can be infinitely more thorough and soldiers and other workers can learn what to expect from traumatic work experiences.