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WorkSafe victoria Awards 2016 Awards 2017 WorkSafe Victoria Awards 2017

About this entry

Melbourne Water has successfully trialled and adopted virtual reality technology to enhance its identification of design defects and OHS risks during the planning phase of capital projects.

The team from Melbourne Water
Above: The team from Melbourne Water

Previously, two-dimensional drawings and three-dimension modelling were used during the design and hazard detection process. This practice raised challenges for technicians and operators as they endeavoured to imagine or contextualise the finished plant and offer effective feedback regarding safety or operability issues to the designers, constructors and project managers. As a consequence, less obvious design and safety issues were being overlooked – posing potential injury risks as well as costly and difficult fixes post construction.

During a trial of the modern technology, Melbourne Water identified an additional 20 safety issues on top of six items detected using ‘traditional’ methods. The immersive virtual reality technology has now been embedded into Melbourne Water’s safe design approach and hazard identification and risk control processes.