The first platform created within the OSH education system was the mobile VR itself, focused on the use of VR glasses. Since we were looking for a solution that would be simple, we chose the All-in-one solution, ie. Splices were created for Oculus Quest glasses. In the development of this platform application, we focused on the use of a real environment, direct human interaction with the virtual environment. This VR application is based on the same scenario as 2D interactive applications, but due to the possibilities it is supplemented by several supporting options. With the help of such a practical simulation, the user acquires fuller habits.

A total of 4 scenarios for health and safety and fire protection training have been created so far. These are the following:

Entry into a specialized department – proper use of personal protective equipment

Handling sharp objects

Injuries from sharp objects

Fire protection

Health and safety education system through the VR

Entry into a specialized department – proper use of personal protective equipment

The first scenario, and at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, a very important scenario for staff training is the behavior of a person entering a specialized infectious unit, such as the COVID-19 unit for patients with disease [15]. In the case of our scenario, we focused on the need to disinfect the hands, put on a respirator and its subsequent correct composition and disposal in a container for infectious waste. The training scenario consists of two parts, the first is the manipulation of personal protective equipment before entering the ward and then after the entry and switches to the situation after leaving the ward, ie the stay and work in the ward is not addressed in the scenario.

Handling sharp objects

Another training scenario is the handling of sharp objects such as needles, syringes and others that are commonly contacted by healthcare professionals. Part of the training, the scenario is the person who accompanies us throughout the story and draws our attention to the essential instructions supplemented by safety requirements in the real environment. This training is also very important for the healthcare segment, because prevention is very important, a common injury is just a sharp object injury.

Sharp injuries

As mentioned above, sharp injuries are common, there are often accidental injuries to nursing staff, and it is advisable to practice on your own skin, how to proceed in the event of an injury. The scenario created by us is focused on the unfortunate injury of the helper and the subsequent handling of the needle, disinfection and treatment of the injection site, as well as instructions to whom the event should be reported and what examinations must be completed from a preventive point of view. Attention to procedures, reports and examinations is a very important step, as several surveys show that both nurses and doctors do not report almost one third of injuries [14]. 

Fire protection

The fourth scenario we have created is focused on training employees how to behave in the field of fire safety in the workplace and how to act in the event of a fire. In addition to the most important tasks in the event of a fire, employees should also receive clear instructions on how to behave as risky as possible, both in the event of a false alarm and in the event of a crisis situation where a fire has already occurred.

Health and safety education system through a 2D interactive application

In addition to training scenarios in VR, we have also created interactive 2D applications that do not require any special hardware, but either a computer or other “smart” devices such as a smartphone, tablet, etc. savings and a clear standard. The application is created in the Czech language and also in English for better comprehensibility and applicability. Additional language mutations are possible in the future as needed.

The basis of the application is based on a computer-generated situation, where the healthcare professional must perform all the steps of the scenario. The goal of the application is to make it simple and unambiguous. In Figure X, we can see the application screen within which the user has to do all the necessary steps in the help. And in the sequence that is correct in reality. If the user chooses correctly, they will be displayed in green, if not red.

Health and safety education system – verification of acquired knowledge

As part of the applications created for VR and 2D interactive applications, we have also created a “test” version, which is used to verify the experience and knowledge gained after training in VR or 2D interactive application. Simply put, the help has been turned off, as well as the character of the avatar that helps with the training / procedure. A trained worker must undergo training at his own discretion. If it makes a mistake, a notification will sound and the application will not release it. In this way, the person concerned can verify that the training is properly memorized and mastered or needs to be further educated. It can therefore be feedback both for those who are educated through the system and for those employers or teachers who can educate their students in this way.

Summary of achievements in health and safety education through virtual reality

The aim of our research was to combine the advantages of modern VR technology and proper education in key areas of occupational safety and health. In total, we created 4 scenarios using VR reality as part of the training process.

Based on the knowledge and requirements of the staff of the teaching hospital, we created basic scenarios focused on handling sharp objects, sharp objects injuries, entering a specialized workplace (including the correct use of protective equipment) and fire protection. In scenarios related to the possibility of infection with an infectious agent, we focused on the prevention of personnel against COVID-19.In addition to laboratory tests, we tested these scenarios in practice at the staff of the University Hospital in Pilsen. In total, there were 120 employees who voluntarily participated in testing the modern form of the training process, health and safety procedures. 

The same group of 120 employees took part in all of the Procussia tests, with the aforementioned number being primarily nurses and support staff, and around 10% being doctors. Similarly, 4 scenarios were created using a 2D application, which does not require any special hardware and can be a variant for those who do not have glasses for virtual reality, as well as, for example, to repeat some steps in the event that the employee / the student wants to focus only on 1 specific thing / 1 step, etc. At the same time, test variants were created for all training scenarios to verify the acquired knowledge, both in the version of the VR application itself and for a 2D interactive application. All the staff highly praised the training provided through the VR. Therefore, the hospital management decided to use our health and safety system in the VR in real and “sharp” operation and use it to train its medical staff at regular intervals. Following the achieved results, which were above expectations, we decided to continue to create additional scenarios for the healthcare segment, so that it would be possible to subsequently use the training system across all healthcare systems in our country. The entire system of OSH training courses in VR and 2D is currently in Czech and English, and other language versions are possible if interested.