VR Training for Energy
Staffing Challenges for Utility Companies
Like many other industries impacted by the silver tsunami of retiring workers, the power and utility industry is facing a critical challenge. As noted in an Energy Central article, author Karen Marcus notes: “As older workers retire, many utilities are finding it difficult to replace them, and to attract employees with the skills needed to advance a 21st century industry.”
Preserving the tribal knowledge and bringing in new skilled workers to replace those retiring is critical to the safety of our nation’s infrastructure and the safety of these front-line workers. When field workers are not training properly, it creates room for errors. Unfortunately, any error in the utility industry can result in dangerous or even fatal situations.
VR Training Provides Innovative & Safe Solutions For Staffing and Training
In partnership with GTI Energy, Oberon Technologies has developed a series of Virtual Reality (VR) Training courses focused on the most common skills needed by Gas Utilities workers. Training in a virtual environment mitigates the inherent hazards in utility work, and it allows the field workers to practice in a safe environment. With use cases capturing years of field knowledge into randomized scenarios, new trainees can experience in hours what would take them years to encounter in the field. The VR course provides fully-immersive environments that give them virtual hands-on interactions. These experiences are so realistic they trigger the flight-or-flight reflex. According to PWC research, VR Training provides higher rates retention of information and four times faster completion of a course than e-learning and other traditional forms of training. Adding VR Training provides many ROI benefits and dramatically improves operational cost, safety and worker satisfaction.
VR Training Modules for Gas Utilities
These VR Training modules enable instructors to challenge trainees in fully immersive, photo-realistic simulations that can be held in single- or multi-user scenarios. To keep students engaged, instructors can randomize a wide variety of situational and environmental details making the scenarios as unpredictable and realistic as the real world.
Gas Emergency Response - Make Safe Operations
This experience trains and tests personnel on Make Safe Operations when responding to gas emergency situations. Trainees will respond to third-party excavation damage causing the uncontrollable release of gas or ignited gas, and high concentrations of gas in centerline sewer. Part §192.615 Natural Gas Emergency
Damage Prevention During Excavation Activities
This experience trains and tests personnel on ensuring the performance of damage prevention activities during excavation activities. (e.g., verifying underground pipelines are marked, safe digging practices are followed). B31Q: Task 1321
Gas Distribution Overview
This experience provides personnel an overview of the different components and fittings that make-up a gas distribution system. This includes an overview in a residential and city environment.
Locate Underground Pipelines
This experience trains and tests personnel on locating underground pipelines using maps, records, and locating equipment. It also includes the placement of temporary markings and markers. B31Q Task 1291
Damage Prevention Inspection During Third-Party Excavation
This experience trains and tests personnel on when an operator inspects third-party excavations or encroachment activities. This task includes the inspection of those activities and actions to protect the operators’ facilities, such as work stoppage. B31Q: Task 1331
Tapping a Pipeline
This experience trains and tests personnel on performing tapping, including the installation of the isolation valve and tapping equipment as well as removal of isolation valve, as specified. B31Q: Task 1081/1091
Inspect Pipeline Surface Conditions: Patrol Right of Way or Easement
This experience trains and tests personnel on how to perform a right-of-way or easement patrol (e.g., walking, or driving) to visually identify signs of leaks, encroachments, conditions of the right-of-way, or any other signs of potential impact to the pipeline safety or integrity. Includes reporting emergency conditions. B31Q: Task 1311
Outside Gas Leak Investigation
This experience trains and tests personnel on the investigation of reported or discovered outside leaks of an operator’s gas lines. This also includes initiation of precautionary actions (make safe). B31Q: Task 1241
Inside Gas Leak Investigation
This experience trains and tests personnel on the investigation of reported or discovered leaks of an operators’ or customers’ gas lines inside a building in relation to emergency response. This also includes initiation of precautionary actions (make safe). B31Q: Task 1231
Visual Inspection for Atmospheric Corrosion (Inside Meters)
This experience trains and tests personnel on the inspection of pipe and pipeline components exposed to the atmosphere for the purpose of atmospheric corrosion on inside meter sets. B31Q: Task 0141
Gas Appliance Inspection and Relighting
This experience trains and tests personnel on how to perform a safety inspection for gas appliances during the relighting process. This also includes initiation of hazards tags for unsafe conditions that are identified.