Ergon utilising VR for safe training

Ergon Energex VR
Technical Training Business Manager Stewart MacDonald and Digital Enablement Specialist Noeneel Sharma led development of Energy Queensland’s virtual reality training tool

Ergon Energy Network and Energex trainees are being introduced to Virtual Reality (VR) simulations that complement the real-world experiences being provided by Energy Queensland’s Technical Training & Apprentices (TT&A) team.

TT&A have teamed up with Digital Division to develop the VR training simulators that provide trainees with a safe training environment.

Technical training business manager Stewart MacDonald and digital enablement specialist Noeneel Sharma from the Digital Division have already developed a Polarity Virtual Reality Training simulator and are about to deploy their next Virtual Reality Training Simulator – Electrical Installation Fault Finding and Compliance Testing.

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“The new Electrical Installation Fault Finding and Compliance Testing VR Training simulator takes realism to a whole new level while still maintaining a completely safe environment for trainees,” Mr MacDonald said.

“You really feel like you are working on the side of a real house in suburbia.”

MacDonald and Sharma initially developed the training simulators to connect with younger audiences but found that even more experienced field staff are embracing the new technology.

“What’s really exciting is seeing some of our more experienced staff have a go and then forget they are in a virtual environment,” Mr MacDonald said.

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“They stand there fully immersed in the VR environment, provided by the training simulator, and begin behaving as if they are really working on a real piece of equipment.

“What’s exciting is that the more experienced staff are making suggestions about where this technology could next be applied.”

Sharma says the benefits of VR training aids go well beyond the novelty factor many associate with VR simply because the technology is becoming more widely accepted and more affordable.

“It’s also really accessible – all you need is a headset, and you can be located anywhere in Queensland and receive consistent, high-level information and a safe environment to practice high risk tasks,” he said.