Facility can recreate almost any Northern Ontario work environment within a controlled laboratory setting
Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) has unveiled its fully operational workplace simulator which, the university said, is the only facility of its kind in the world.
The simulator can recreate almost any Northern Ontario workplace environment within a controlled laboratory setting, said the university. It integrates a robotic motion platform to simulate vibration; an environmental chamber to control temperature and humidity; a virtual reality eye-tracker to simulate workers’ surroundings; and a cardiorespiratory diagnostic system to measure human responses.
This allows researchers to solve workplace problems using work-task simulation, according to CROSH. The simulator can be used in developing and assessing novel technologies to manage heat stress, vibration exposure or line-of-sight issues. It can also be used for testing an individual’s fitness for duty and workers' fatigue, or for understanding how workers manage situational awareness.
“Having the ability to simulate the workplace allows researchers or industry partners to test innovative equipment solutions more extensively before testing them in the workplace environment. This benefits the company because often equipment that fails in the workplace won’t be tried a second time,” said Sandra Dorman, director at CROSH, in a press release. “It also benefits the workplace because fewer work-hours need to be committed to testing a novel application while doing day-to-day business.”