On the 19th of February, 2016, Pro-Visual Publishing helped launch the Working At Heights Interactive Initiative, a project of the Master Builders Association of NSW and SafeWork NSW. Utilising the latest technology, Augmented Reality (AR), the initiative is a new approach to getting the safety message across to young construction workers and apprentices, as well as raising the profile of this important issue, which sees so many workers involved in fatal accidents each year.
To launch the initiative, Pro-Visual Publishing CEO John Hutchings brought up a hologram of MBA Executive Director Brian Seidler using just a piece of paper and the Pro-Vis AR app. The real Brian Seidler joined his hologram at the front to address the audience of young apprentices, industry representatives and special guests.
Peter Dunphy, Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, spoke about the frustration of seeing falls from heights on a regular basis. From a safety regulator perspective he spoke of how important it is to think of new ways to prevent these incidents by trying something new and different. He also spoke on behalf of the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Vincent Dominello, about how fantastic this initiative will be for promoting safety when working at heights.
John Hutchings returned to the front to discuss the technology behind the Working At Heights poster. This AR technology allows owners of any smart device to bring digital content into the real world in real time. This means safety information, legislation and educational videos can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Safety is literally at your fingertips. John’s demonstration of the poster’s AR capabilities, particularly the graphic animated experiences, garnered many ooh’s and ahh’s from the young apprentices in the audience.
Peter Glover of MBA NSW spoke about the many possible uses of such technology for training and awareness, especially in toolbox talks. David Solomon, Executive Officer of Safety at MBA NSW, spoke briefly about a recent incident involving a fall from height that breached codes of practice.
With this example, David introduced the next speaker, David Crawford, a man who has first-hand experience of the dangers of working at heights. One day while working at a height, the section of the roof David was standing on collapsed beneath him. The impact of falling almost five metres fractured his spine and he suffered several injuries from tools in his belt and on the ground where he fell.
David’s story reminded the young apprentices in the audience that accidents and workplace injuries could happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. David praised the genius of the Working At Heights Interactive Initiative as a tool in your pocket wherever you are. Whether you’re in tunnel, up on a roof, or down a hole, you have safety there in front of you.