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Occupational traumatic injury prevention using virtual reality.

Dotson-B; Hsiao-H; Chiou-SS; DiPasquale-JJ
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 1997. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1997 Oct; :45-46
In the area of safety research, it would be useful to measure the physical responses of workers in their work environment. The physical response data could then be used to compose recommendations to achieve safer work environments. In many cases this is not possible due to various problems. One such problem is that the measurement systems may not function properly in a work environment. Another concern, is that using the measurement system may add risk of injury to an already dangerous job. At the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), researchers are looking at a solution to this problem, where the subject is placed in a computer generated virtual environment. This solution uses state-of-the-art virtual reality devices to give the subject the illusion of being in a work environment. Using virtual environments alleviates the space constraint problems that physical mockup may have, but most important is the reduction of the risk of injury for the subject. NIOSH researchers are using virtual reality in a study which investigates the physical responses of scaffold workers while walking on elevated planks. The subjects in this study will be immersed in a virtual environment that will provide the illusion of being elevated thirty feet above the ground, but in reality the subject will be walking safely on the floor in the laboratory. This paper describes the current project using virtual reality and ideas for future projects using virtual reality.
Traumatic-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Safety-research; Workers; Work-environment; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Scaffolds
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
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NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium