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Training on the ground for working at height

Working at heights comes with numerous challenges: operators must be familiar with the equipment on hand, they must conduct pre-use inspections and site assessments, and proper PPE must be utilized. Just think: that all happens on the ground before the actual work at height begins.

Oh, and let’s not forget – before any of that can happen, operators must be trained and certified with the appropriate working at heights courses. These, too, take place either in classroom or online settings with final practical assessments occurring in-person with a qualified trainer. Seems like a lot of on-the-ground time for people who will later be in the air, right?

Well, that might increase even more so in the coming years.

Taking a page from video games

As the construction industry quickly adapts to more and more technology, MEWP training for those working at height is rapidly evolving.

Case in point: Serious Labs.

Serious Labs is a provider of virtual reality (VR) heavy equipment training simulators and blended learning solutions. The company’s mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) VR simulators and models have been implemented by companies and organizations around the world, including United Rentals, Bechtel, DOW, Syncrude, the U.S. Department of Energy, Shell, Singapore International Airport, British Airways, Rapid Access, Loxam, Riwal and Nationwide Platforms.

Jim Colvin, CEO at Serious Labs, recently spoke with us about the global pandemic and the future of access work platform training.

“The pandemic certainly made us look at the whole concept of training differently, and at our products differently,” Colvin says. “We’ve learned over this last year that our VR training simulators are not just training tools to replace a different form of training, but rather measurement tools that quantify the risks the individual operator is bringing to the jobsite. They are also instructional tools which teach that operator how to change those risky behaviors.”

It makes sense: We would never put an untrained scissor lift operator into a machine and test their skills. Nor would we put a untrained boom lift operator in a dangerous situation for the sake of learning. Simulators allow trainees to address situations that might happen in real life, but could not during training. They also provide an objective measurement of proficiency that’s associated with somebody’s record, whether that’s a digital PAL card or something else.

“When someone shows up on a jobsite, that record will be visible with them and can help determine things like work assignments or additional training needed,” Colvin says. “For example, if you’ve got a very talented [working at heights] operator, you can assign them to challenging tasks, and if you’ve got someone who may need more training, you know exactly where and how to help them improve. Just think about what that would accomplish for safety and how many accidents we could prevent.”

Of course, the availability of this technologically advanced MEWP training is still somewhat limited, so its best to book a traditional classroom based MEWP training course on an online MEWP course through Easybook Training.

Easybook Training offers a dozen working at height training courses including:

Don’t hesitate, head over to Easybook Training to search for the right working at height course to fit your schedule. By being properly trained and certified today, you’ll go home safe tomorrow.