DOHA (ILO News) – In their continued efforts to improve workers’ safety and health at work, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour of Qatar, in cooperation with the ILO International Training Centre (ITCILO), are rolling out an immersive and interactive virtual reality training exercise designed to further enhance the skills and competencies of Qatar’s labour inspectors, to complement traditional training courses.
Equipped with virtual reality device, labour inspectors can explore a virtual environment that simulates a typical construction site in Qatar with life-like accuracy. During the exercise, labour inspectors will have to detect and correct irregularities, hazards, and high-risk behaviours.
In addition to visually identifying irregularities, inspectors are called to answer questions related to the risks or hazards they were able to detect in the virtual worksite. The questions are designed to help trainees reflect on the relevant occupational safety and health (OSH) regulations and understand why such regulations were created in the first place. The exercise is customizable to different users and settings, and will enable inspectors to better advise employers and workers on workplace safety measures.
According to an ILO report from 2021, falls from height and road traffic accidents were the top causes of severe injuries and fatalities in Qatar, followed by falling objects on worksites. With that in mind, the virtual reality exercise features a total of 40 irregularities hidden in the construction site, simulating those most common causes of occupational accidents and fatalities.
We are excited to introduce technology to spice up the traditional classroom training. The gamification of the training will engage users in new and fun ways – and will help inspectors internalize knowledge on specific safety hazards, but also practices in conducting a real-life field visit"Max Tuñón, Head of the ILO Project Office in Doha
The trainees are scored at the end of the exercise based on the number of irregularities found and the questions answered.
The virtual reality programme is part of Qatar’s broader effort to strengthen occupational safety and health, both at the policy and strategic levels.
The State of Qatar attaches great importance to occupational safety and health and has developed comprehensive policies, strategies and plans to reduce work-related accidents, injuries and diseases. We attach great importance to keeping our labour inspectors’ skills relevant and up to date, and we welcome any new opportunities to improve their performance"Mr. Zayed Suhail Al Mazroui, Head of the OSH Unit of the Ministry of Labour of Qatar.
This innovative initiative is a great example of the role technology can play in supporting modern, coherent, and coordinated labour administration and inspection institutions.