AR Safety in Energy and Utility Industries
Updated: May 22, 2019
Safety is one of the core values for companies that are involved in the energy and utility industries. Safety that goes beyond creating a healthy environment for workers and visitors. Some of the most common approaches to improving safety in these industries are:
Basic training on accident prevention and safety regulations
A ‘how to’ for working with various tools, machinery and assets
Safety training and courses
The level of safety has improved significantly within the utility and energy industries in recent years. According to the Health and Safety report by Energy UK, the level of LTIFR and AIFR has dropped from 0.15 and 3.6 to 0.06 and 1.5 respectively in the UK. According to the same research, the levels of work-related injuries have also decreased thanks to growing safety measures in the energy industry.
Energy and utilities are considered to be one of the top three markets of augmented reality (AR) glasses shipments in 2018, according to ABI research. Since introducing augmented reality (AR) technology onto the market, it has proven to be a highly effective solution to navigation within hazardous environments, improving the efficiency and safety of industry workers. Unlike virtual reality (VR) headsets, the AR enabled glasses are transparent like standard glasses and provide additional support to wearers by superimposing computer-generated information into their view – while still allowing them to clearly visualise and navigate their own environment, performing work-related duties without any obstacles in their view.
Revolutionising Energy and Utility Industries with Augmented Reality
Making them Safer, Better and more Efficient
There are many ways which AR technology is helping utility and energy workers inspect, analyse and fix problems and avoid potential hazards - this includes new forms of interaction and communication for employees.
1. Becoming an Expert in the Field. By installing software on how to check and fix various assets onto the glasses, inexperienced workers can perform tasks to the highest level of proficiency, allowing workers to become experts in their field. Where additional help is required, workers can instantly request remote assistance from a more skilled technician – from any location. This helps eradicate problems quickly and effectively.
2. Effective Communication. Communication plays a vital part in the energy and utility industries. Problems can quickly escalate if workers do not communicate effectively, and AR is the ideal choice for communicating in hazardous environments. Notifications and calls can be received instantly – also providing visual communication where necessary.
3. Mapping Danger Zones. Hazardous areas can be mapped to improve danger awareness by regulating workers whereabouts and warning workers of hazardous spots. The AR glasses can also provide greater detail of the type of hazards to be aware of when navigating by highlighting danger zones and displaying the corresponding safety regulations and guidelines.
4. Optimised Training. AR technology is optimising the safety training process by allowing workers to physically perform step-by-step safety instructions, offering a virtual training experience that simulates real-life situations without the danger of training on-site. As the information is displayed through the glasses worn by the workers, they can easily navigate through their surroundings and perform safety training tasks.
AR technology is rapidly revolutionising the energy and utility industries, making them safer, better and more efficient. Apart from the many benefits provided by using the AR glasses, ease of adaptation plays a key role in the decision-making process. Unlike VR, AR glasses are easily implemented, and information can be updated and downloaded quickly and easily.