Keep utility workers safe with realistic pole top rescue training

Virtual reality (VR) is the perfect training tool to provide a realistic environment for utility workers to learn telephone pole top rescue and get assessed for certification. This VR assessment is a refresher course for workers who have taken pole top rescue training in the past 2 years. Workers are assessed on preparing the worksite and properly performing a pole top rescue of a virtual colleague.

Headset Availability:
Oculus Quest 1, 2, Pro, HTC Focus Plus, HTC Vive, Pico Neo 2, 3, 4
What You'll Learn

This VR pole top rescue training is a pass-fail course. If users make mistakes during the evaluation they will be provided the opportunity to correct their errors and continue with the evaluation, however mistakes will be tracked and making enough errors along the way will cause the user to fail. Workers will learn and be assessed on:

  • Hazard Recognition – Notifying and dealing with hazards 
  • Worksite Preparation – Coning off the site, performing pole checks and inspecting equipment.
  • PPE Inspection – Inspecting and checking proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) with the colleague that will be scaling the pole.
  • Pole Top Rescue – Properly performing the necessary steps to contact emergency services and safely bring the colleague down.
  • Proper Reporting – Appropriately reporting and documenting the throughout steps.

The VR Experience

In this pole top rescue training and assessment, the user can make one mistake for each step and get a chance to try a second time. However, if they get any step wrong twice they will have to restart the experience from the beginning. Users will start by entering a virtual reality scenario in an outdoor setting next to a road. Users will first identify any hazards and remove them from the area, then perform a visual pole check to determine if there is any visible damage or evidence of termites. The user then must prepare the site by safely placing cones around their work van. The user must then select and inspect PPE for their colleague and ensure their colleague is wearing the gear correctly. If not, they must fix the harness straps and buckle them. A physical pole check is performed next using a hammer, then an appropriate ladder is selected and set up. The colleague will then climb the ladder to run the aerial drop cable, but will collapse at the top of the pole. The user can then begin performing a low voltage rescue, and must contact emergency services through their smartwatch. The user must climb the ladder to rescue their colleague. They will attach the safety strap by grabbing it and wrapping it around the pole and securing it to their colleague’s harness. Next, the user can attach the lowering rope to their colleague’s back. Once the lowering rope is attached, the user can unhook their colleague by pulling down on the rope with one hand, moving up their colleague a few inches. Then while holding the rope with one hand, the user needs to move their other hand over the buckle on their colleague’s safety strap, and pull the trigger to release it. Lastly the user can lower the colleague by executing three hand over hand motions that simulate their side of the rope going up, which in turns lowers their colleague to the bottom of the pole. For accreditation purposes, some steps will need to be performed a second time. Once the second run-through is completed the user will have successfully completed the scenario.

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