According to the AWCBC (Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada), the five highest-risk occupations in the country are in the following areas :
  • Fishing and trapping : 52 deaths per 100,000 workers ;
  • Mining, quarrying and oil wells : 46.9 deaths per 100,000 workers ;
  • Forestry : 33.3 deaths per 100,000 workers ;
  • Construction : 20.2 deaths per 100,000 workers ;
  • Transportation and Warehousing : 16 deaths per 100,000 workers.

In Quebec, it is the CNESST that oversees the training of workers. Section 51 of the Act respecting occupational health and safety (AOHS) stipulates that the employer must ensure the protection of the health, safety and physical integrity of workers.


Employees must :

  • Be advised of the hazards involved in their jobs and work environment ;

  • Be properly trained in the use of their equipment ;

  • Receive appropriate training and supervision.

As an organization, it is important to demonstrate your commitment to health and safety by identifying risks and finding solutions to control them. Risk prevention begins with training your staff. There are many ways to train employees on job-related health and safety. However, it has been proven that several areas of the brain must be involved (visual, auditory, olfactory, language areas…) in order to store information on a long-term basis. Moreover, several companies and educational institutions use innovative tools to promote information retention in learners. Among others, virtual reality is a tool that allows to put learning into practice in order to consolidate the information learned.

Formation sur un chantier de construction. Training on a construction site.

Using innovation in their teaching practices, the Cégep de Thetford offers students in mineral technology the opportunity to develop their knowledge through immersive training. The experience makes them aware of the dangers caused by truck traffic on a mining site and allows them to check a driver’s blind spots. This learning method allows the student to face a real situation in order to acquire knowledge. The use of virtual reality also allows for consistency in training for all students. This type of experience would not have been possible in a standard training context since the safety of the learner would be put at risk and too many factors influence the consistency of the training from one learner to another.

" In a mine it would be a safe visit. They won't show the students dangerous situations ! "  
Jean-François Huard
Mineral Technology Teacher
" The advantage of using virtual reality is to make the health and safety course more interesting for students. This subject is difficult to contextualize and is usually perceived as boring by students. "
Nadia Paquet
Mineral Technology Teacher
" Virtual reality can also be applied in other programs. It is difficult to hire actors and replay scenarios in a way that is always consistent... With virtual reality, the staging is always the same... The experience remains the same from one student to another. "
Éric Cloutier
Techno-pedagogical advisor

In short, whether in an organization or an educational institution, virtual reality allows the user to learn in a safe way to reduce the risk of injury in his current or future job. Also, the use of several areas of the brain during the learning process ensures that the information will remain in long-term memory.

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