Virtual Reality: Innovative Educational Tool for Progressive Instruction
By Stacey Patch, business manager, Raymond Virtual Reality Simulator, The Raymond Corporation
Next-generation lift truck operator learning uses virtual reality to provide advanced, hands-on instruction that is designed to educate and improve operator skills in a simulated and secure environment. Innovations such as the Raymond Virtual Reality Simulator are used as supplemental education tools, along with classroom learning, to provide an effective and efficient enhancement to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-mandated instruction.
These technological advancements are especially helpful during a time when there are more manufacturing jobs available than there are skilled workers to fill positions, in part because of the rise of e-commerce and consumers demanding products faster. Using virtual reality-based supplemental educational tools can help new lift truck operators become comfortable with controls and ensure operators are coached more quickly and confidently, all before reaching the warehouse floor.
Virtual reality educational tools offer an easy-to-use instruction system that includes numerous modules for progressive coaching and re-teaching on areas that require additional attention. The modules feature real-world scenarios that can happen on the floor for operators to react to and practice navigating in a secure environment. As a student progresses through the modules, the tool allows for immediate feedback, as an instructor is side by side with the operator.
From an instructor's perspective, this tool can provide immediate visibility into which associate will be successful, and in which warehouse applications, including those who are not dissuaded by heights. This is crucial information to know before an operator is on the floor. It also can be used for employment screening, as it helps candidates better understand equipment and operability before being hired. Similarly, this technology allows a hiring team to better assess a candidate's skills and potential before becoming fully engaged. Using virtual reality for on-the-job instruction may even help increase employee retention, and managers and hiring personnel can be more confident that employees are applying their learnings to their work.
Additionally, these innovative tools can help improve workforce development and a company's bottom line. Offering virtual reality learning helps attract new talent to the industry and retains employees in positions long term. Having more educated and experienced operators creates a more stable warehouse environment. Additionally, well-instructed lift truck operators who stay on the job and are given the tools to work efficiently and effectively can increase a company's productivity and help keep up with today's increasingly faster turnaround deadlines.
In honor of National Forklift Safety Day, implementing virtual reality tools as supplemental educational offerings in the workplace can help shrink the manufacturing skills gap and allow companies to stay competitive in today's e-commerce-driven economy.
To learn more about the Raymond Virtual Reality Simulator or The Raymond Corporation, visit www.raymondcorp.com.
Contributed by The Raymond Corporation, www.raymondcorp.com