Royal Dutch Shell is one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, with operations spanning across the globe. Training thousands of employees for offshore oil rig maintenance and safety procedures was one of their biggest challenges. Using traditional training methods like “learning on the job” had always been a logistical nightmare, not to mention putting numerous lives in danger. Royal Dutch Shell knew they had to find a different approach to training, and the solution lay in using virtual reality technology.
VR Application Overview
Working in hazardous and life-threatening industries is never easy, and providing staff with on-the-job training isn’t necessarily the best and most effective way for employees to learn at scale. After several near-misses and safety incidents, Royal Dutch Shell strategically decided to circumnavigate these obstacles by deploying their “Virtual Hazard Detection” VR training programme across their sites.
The programme simulated hazardous scenarios on the oil rig, like oil spills and gas leaks. These simulations encouraged employees to familiarise themselves with the rig’s layout and learn how to handle dangerous situations and manage extreme stress without putting themselves or others at risk. The VR experience provided employees with multiple opportunities to make mistakes, learn from them, and perfect their skills to a level of mastery.
The VR training programme was a massive success. Results ranged from a significant 25% increase in employee confidence and preparedness when dealing with real-life scenarios on the rig, and a 45% reduction in safety incidents. The program also led to a 90% reduction in travel costs, as employees no longer had to travel to offshore rigs for training, and a 30% reduction in training time. Across the board, teams were more confident and capable!