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North Forge Fabrication Lab Received Funding to Develop a VR Safety Training Experience

North Forge Fabrication Lab received funding from the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) for $100,000 to develop a Virtual Reality (VR) Safety Training Experience at the North Forge Fabrication Lab. Funding for the year-long project is through the WCB’s Research and Workplace Innovation Program.

The VR Safety Experience will be a new immersive, innovative method for safety training. The project will be comprised of representation from Made Safe, SAFE Work Manitoba – a division of the WCB, and Bit Space Development.

The VR Safety Training Experience will be a customized experience for North Forge Fabrication Lab aligning with its Health and Safety Program. Marney Stapley, Vice President North Forge Technology Exchange said that “by providing a shop-floor solution to improving workplace health and safety, this VR Safety Experience will augment our hands-on training and provide for a greater learning experience.” Stapley added, “developing an innovative learning experience with Bit Space Development will be invaluable for us to have the data to track results of completion and for the development of safety leading indicators on a dashboard with the intent of continuous improvements.” Stapley said, “We are excited to work with Bit Space Development on the heels of them being recognized as a global leader in AR / VR development and having established themselves in the manufacturing and construction industries for safety-
related experiences.”

“The VR Safety platform enables us to put the user in hazardous areas without putting them at risk,” said Dan Blair, CEO of Bit Space Development. “Research shows that immersive technology promotes higher information retention, which makes it the perfect solution for training & safety experiences. The metrics component of this project will shed light on training gaps and make the North Forge fabrication lab facility safer for everyone.”

North Forge will work with other industry partners who would benefit from these interactive resources for training and to assist other businesses with their health and safety programs.

Neal Curry, Executive Director of Made Safe said that “we will be a partner throughout the life of the project and beyond.” “North Forge became Safe Work Certified by Made Safe in June 2019
and this is an excellent initiative to demonstrate their continuous improvement in their Safety Program.”

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