Journeymen Linemen are critical in ensuring that electricity runs safely and efficiently through powerlines. Faced with the increased wildfire threat in Southern California, SDG&E’s digital innovation team set out to provide the best training possible for field workers while protecting their safety.
With that in mind, a completely virtual training environment was developed, filled with realistic scenarios that could lead to potential utility related wildfires in the real world. Through Virtual Reality training, field workers put on a headset and walk through different scenarios to learn how to identify and respond to issues they may encounter in real life in the field.
“The virtual reality training program is going to lead to so many advancements in how we train people,” said director of wildfire mitigation, Jonathan Woldemariam.
“It allows employees to simulate different situations without having to go out there in real time on the actual power line equipment so that they have better understanding of the risks that can occur and address them quicker.”
Because the conditions are randomized, no two VR training experiences are ever the same. This allows workers to continually build skills by augmenting their classroom training and field training with new technology tools. In addition, instructors can identify learning trends at the student and classroom level allowing them to adapt their training as needed.
Using this new technology allows workers to train in a safe environment and receive instant feedback on their performance. They can practice different scenarios to ensure that they feel comfortable and confident while performing their craft.