Leveraging simulation in your training program allows operators to gain familiarity and confidence in a safe, low-stress environment before taking control in the field. “Everything revolves around safety,” explained IUOE Local 926 Safety and Training Director Anthony Nash. “Our members come to learn proper set up, what to look for, and what to anticipate in the field. Experiencing these things in a controlled setting under an instructor’s watchful eye saves significant time, money, and possibly lives.”
Greg Brown, Inspector and Trainer for Crane Industry Services, LLC says that an added benefit is the ability to prepare operators for extreme conditions not easily replicated in field training. “We can challenge students with a wide variety of tasks, distractions, and difficult conditions such as high winds, rain, and so on without creating danger in or around the job site. And simulators aren’t just for beginners. Their flexibility allows us to teach customized and advanced operations to even the most experienced operators.”
And accidents aren’t the only job-related hazards that operators face. A paper
from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health contends that exposure to dust, fumes, the sedentary nature of their jobs, mental stress, and long hours of temperature and sun exposure put operators at further health risks. Lessening training time spent on physical equipment reduces exposure to adverse conditions. As an added bonus, limiting machine service hours also reduces breakdowns and extends equipment life.