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A Review of Virtual and Mixed Reality Applications in Construction Safety Literature

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Over the last decade, researchers have used virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) techniques for various safety-related applications such as training, hazard monitoring, and preconstruction planning. This paper reviews the recent trends in virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction safety, explicitly focusing on virtual-reality and mixed-reality techniques as the two major types of computer-generated simulated experiences. Following a systematic literature assessment methodology, this study summarizes the results of articles that have been published over the last decade and illustrates the research trends of virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction safety while focusing on the technological components of individual studies.
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safety
Review
A Review of Virtual and Mixed Reality Applications
in Construction Safety Literature
H. Frank Moore 1and Masoud Gheisari 2, *
1The Haskell Company, 360 Central Ave., Ste. 800 St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
2Rinker School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*Correspondence: masoud@ufl.edu; Tel.: +1-352-273-1166
Received: 29 June 2019; Accepted: 9 August 2019; Published: 12 August 2019

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Abstract:
Over the last decade, researchers have used virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) techniques
for various safety-related applications such as training, hazard monitoring, and preconstruction
planning. This paper reviews the recent trends in virtual- and mixed-reality applications in
construction safety, explicitly focusing on virtual-reality and mixed-reality techniques as the two major
types of computer-generated simulated experiences. Following a systematic literature assessment
methodology, this study summarizes the results of articles that have been published over the last
decade and illustrates the research trends of virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction
safety while focusing on the technological components of individual studies.
Keywords:
construction safety; virtual reality (VR); mixed reality (MR); augmented reality (AR);
augmented virtuality (AV)
1. Introduction
Injuries in construction occur at higher rates compared to many other job sectors, resulting in
the loss of lives and profits [
1
]. Researchers have studied the root causes of accidents, as well as
the current training practices in place, painting a dim picture of the eectiveness of current safety
interventions [
2
]. To curb the rate of injuries, academics have called for increased research into
the best methods for translating safety knowledge to construction workers. Due to the apparent
ineectiveness of current safety practices, academic studies have explored the use of innovative
intervention methods oered through Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) techniques [
3
,
4
].
In such environments, users can easily and repeatedly experience spatiotemporal occasions that
were previously impossible, dangerous, hard, or expensive to experience otherwise [
4
]. VR and MR
incorporate multiple layers of information-such as BIM (Building Information Modelling), real-time
geographical location, and audio alerts to create information-rich experiences conducive to innovative
construction safety interventions. VR and MR techniques are specifically being deployed to aid in
the transfer of knowledge to workers, to actively warn them of site hazards, and to pre-emptively
eliminate hazards during preconstruction planning.
VR-MR platforms have been successfully implemented across various sectors, including the
military, aviation, and medicine [
5
,
6
]. VR-MR systems are also being developed and evaluated in the
field of construction as well. Within the field of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC),
VR-MR systems have been developed to help professionals make more informed decisions and to
enhance coordination amongst disciplines. For example, AR can allow users to see the location of
columns behind a finished wall or the location of rebars inside of a column [
7
]. Architectural firms
have used VR for marketing, and construction firms for scheduling and coordination, along with
other applications [
8
]. The various uses of VR-MR have been long recognized in the AEC industry,
and costs are rapidly decreasing [
9
]. Immersion hardware is getting better, oering a large field-of-view,
Safety 2019,5, 51; doi:10.3390/safety5030051 www.mdpi.com/journal/safety
Safety 2019,5, 51 2 of 16
high refresh rates, accurate point-of-view tracking; these benefits are possible at lower costs than in the
past, mainly because VR-MR systems are gaining traction in the mainstream gaming community [
9
].
Investment in VR-MR technology is increasing, and the VR-MR market is projected to increase from
$2.67 billion in 2015 to $66.68 billion by 2022 [10].
This study analyses the current trends in virtual- and mixed-reality applications in construction
safety, particularly focusing on virtual-reality and mixed-reality platforms as the two major types of
computer-generated simulated experiences. This study also focuses on the technological components
of those VR-MR studies and discusses individual examples of research projects that implemented such
technologies for construction safety application. A few scholars have published review articles of
digital visualization techniques for safety applications. Zhou et al. [
11
] conducted a review of advanced
technology for safety. Bhoir and Esmaeili [
12
] explored VR environments for safety;
Guo et al.
[
13
]
looked at visualization technologies for safety. Li et al. [
14
] reviewed virtual and augmented reality
systems for safety. Unlike other reviews, this study asks specific research questions through a
systematic review technique and individually discusses the papers within the context of dierent
safety applications, as well as their technological components. Moreover, by intentionally limiting
the scope of the review to VR and MR, this study can highlight interactive safety interventions with
detailed summaries of application areas, while separating VR and MR from the larger, general field of
BIM (Building Information Modeling), 4D CAD (Computer-Aided Design), and other visualization
technologies. The significance of this research lies in that it presents the application status of VR and
MR in enhancing safety in the construction domain and brings more attention to these promising
technologies and ultimately improves safety in the construction domain. The expected outcome of
this content-analysis-based review can benefit both industry professional and researchers who find it
necessary to design and develop an ecient application employing VR/MR technologies to enhance
safety processes in the construction domain.
2. VR-MR Definition
It is important to clearly define the dierence between VR and MR. Milgram [
15
] published
an influential paper which delineates VR and MR. According to Milgram [
15
], there is a spectrum
that spans between reality and virtuality. Reality consists of real objects, while virtuality consists of
purely virtual objects, generated through computer graphic simulation. Augmented Reality (AR)
occurs when virtual objects, text, or video are augmented onto a real scene. In other words, AR is
“any technology that inserts digital interfaces into the real world” [
16
]. Augmented Virtuality (AV) sits
within the spectrum of MR and is achieved when virtual representations are augmented on reality [
15
].
In some cases, distinguishing between VR and MR can be dicult. Milgram [
15
] states that “the most
straightforward way to view a Mixed Reality environment is one in which real-world and virtual-world
objects are presented together within a single display, that is, anywhere between the extrema of the
virtuality continuum.” Figure 1illustrates Milgram’s MR spectrum; the large blue area represents
the span of mixed-reality classifications. Throughout this paper, “MR” will be used to describe the
spectrum that exists between reality and digital virtuality, including both AR and AV technologies.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from AR, and outside the spectrum of MR, sits the technology
known as Virtual Reality (VR). VR “uses computers, software, and peripheral hardware to generate a
simulated environment for its user” [
3
]. This paper contributes to identifying the recent employment
areas of VR and MR technologies in construction safety academic literature, the analysis of their trend
of application, specific safety purposes, safety application objectives, types of hazards addressed,
and the hardware and software employed to develop such environments. Such contribution can benefit
both industry and academia to understand the design and development requirements and components
of VR/MR technologies for successful integration and safety enhancement in the construction domain.
Safety 2019,5, 51 3 of 16
2019, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 3 of 16
Figure 1. The Mixed-Reality Spectrum, adapted from Milgram [14].
3. Research Methodology
The literature review methodology follows the systematic principles presented by Denyer and
Tranfield [17]. The methodology utilizes a five-step process: (1) formulating questions, (2) locating
studies, (3) selecting questions, (4) analysis and synthesis, and (5) reporting results. Denyer and
Tranfield’s [17] methodology was implemented by academics from the fields of AEC [18,19], supply
chain management [20], and energy management [21]. The systematic review methodology was
developed to identify and evaluate completed studies and report pieces of evidence which produce
clear conclusions [16]. For this review study, the same systematic process and steps were
implemented. The objective was to identify the research trends of VR-MR applications for safety in
the construction industry. To direct this objective, the following research questions were formulated
and applied to each publication identified:
Research Question 1 (RQ1): What is the status of VR-MR systems in construction safety academic
literature?
Research Question 2 (RQ2): What are the specific safety purposes of VR-MR systems in
construction safety academic literature?
Research Question 3 (RQ3): What are the safety application objectives of the VR-MR systems in
construction safety academic literature?
Research Question 4 (RQ4): Which hazards are addressed by VR-MR systems in construction
safety academic literature?
Research Question 5 (RQ5): What types of VR-MR systems are being used in construction safety
literature?
Research Question 6 (RQ6): What hardware and software tools are used to experience and
develop VR-MR systems in construction safety academic literature?
To address the research questions of this paper, peer-reviewed bibliographic databases were
investigated using a three-step process: (1) exploratory search, (2) systematic selection, and (3)
classification. First, an iterative search was performed and the topics associated with VR-MR
applications for construction safety were explored. Step one established a set of keywords to
constrain result topics to be related to VR-MR applications for safety. Following the same boundaries
from step one, iterations of keywords were used to search academic databases and perform a criteria-
based literature selection. In step three, the researchers categorized and organized the papers selected
to zero-in exclusively on the trends of VR-MR for construction safety. The collected literature was
then analyzed and discussed to present an up-to-date illustration of VR-MR for construction safety.
3.1. Literature Search and Selection
To locate publications related to VR-MR for construction safety, a set of keywords were entered
into literature databases to obtain relevant articles and eliminate all irrelevant results. Three distinct
filters were deployed to narrow the search results content systematically. The filters were explicitly
designed for title, abstract, body of article, and publication year. Collectively, the filters were utilized
to identify the proper publications.
Figure 1. The Mixed-Reality Spectrum, adapted from Milgram [14].
3. Research Methodology
The literature review methodology follows the systematic principles presented by Denyer
and Tranfield [
17
]. The methodology utilizes a five-step process: (1) formulating questions,
(2) locating studies, (3) selecting questions, (4) analysis and synthesis, and (5) reporting results.
Denyer and Tranfield’s [
17
] methodology was implemented by academics from the fields of AEC [
18
,
19
],
supply chain management [
20
], and energy management [
21
]. The systematic review methodology
was developed to identify and evaluate completed studies and report pieces of evidence which produce
clear conclusions [
16
]. For this review study, the same systematic process and steps were implemented.
The objective was to identify the research trends of VR-MR applications for safety in the construction
industry. To direct this objective, the following research questions were formulated and applied to
each publication identified:
Research Question 1 (RQ1): What is the status of VR-MR systems in construction safety
academic literature?
Research Question 2 (RQ2): What are the specific safety purposes of VR-MR systems in construction
safety academic literature?
Research Question 3 (RQ3): What are the safety application objectives of the VR-MR systems in
construction safety academic literature?
Research Question 4 (RQ4): Which hazards are addressed by VR-MR systems in construction
safety academic literature?
Research Question 5 (RQ5): What types of VR-MR systems are being used in construction
safety literature?
Research Question 6 (RQ6): What hardware and software tools are used to experience and develop
VR-MR systems in construction safety academic literature?
To address the research questions of this paper, peer-reviewed bibliographic databases
were investigated using a three-step process: (1) exploratory search, (2) systematic selection,
and (3) classification. First, an iterative search was performed and the topics associated with VR-MR
applications for construction safety were explored. Step one established a set of keywords to constrain
result topics to be related to VR-MR applications for safety. Following the same boundaries from step
one, iterations of keywords were used to search academic databases and perform a criteria-based
literature selection. In step three, the researchers categorized and organized the papers selected to
zero-in exclusively on the trends of VR-MR for construction safety. The collected literature was then
analyzed and discussed to present an up-to-date illustration of VR-MR for construction safety.
3.1. Literature Search and Selection
To locate publications related to VR-MR for construction safety, a set of keywords were entered
into literature databases to obtain relevant articles and eliminate all irrelevant results. Three distinct
filters were deployed to narrow the search results content systematically. The filters were explicitly
designed for title, abstract, body of article, and publication year. Collectively, the filters were utilized
to identify the proper publications.
Safety 2019,5, 51 4 of 16
The first filter was applied to delineate the overall topic of this review: construction safety. Hence,
the keywords “construction” and “safety” were chosen as classifiers found in the title or abstract of
the publications. The second filter was then used to define the characteristics presented in the title,
abstract, or body of the papers.
An exploratory web search revealed four significant classifiers related to innovative, interactive
computer-generated simulated safety interventions: “virtual”, “augmented”, “mixed”, and “reality”.
These four keywords were applied in the second filter to reflect the scope of this review accurately.
Finally, a third filter was applied to restrict the publication date. Articles published from 2007 to 2018
were considered to ensure contemporaneity of the research contained within this review.
The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses)
(
Moher et al.
, [
22
]) procedure was followed to document this procedure (see Figure 2). In the
identification stage, 114 potentially relevant articles were identified. After the screening the process,
duplicate records and articles that were not published between 2007 and 2018 or the ones that were
not directly related to construction safety were identified and excluded. Next, the full text of the
publications were reviewed to ascertain if they directly applied VR or MR to construction safety and at
least one of the research questions of this paper were discussed in their content. Forty-six publications
were identified after the incremental evaluation.
2019, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of 16
The first filter was applied to delineate the overall topic of this review: construction safety.
Hence, the keywords “construction” and “safety” were chosen as classifiers found in the title or
abstract of the publications. The second filter was then used to define the characteristics presented in
the title, abstract, or body of the papers.
An exploratory web search revealed four significant classifiers related to innovative, interactive
computer-generated simulated safety interventions: “virtual”, “augmented”, “mixed”, and “reality”.
These four keywords were applied in the second filter to reflect the scope of this review accurately.
Finally, a third filter was applied to restrict the publication date. Articles published from 2007 to 2018
were considered to ensure contemporaneity of the research contained within this review.
The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) (Moher et
al., [22]) procedure was followed to document this procedure (see Figure 2). In the identification
stage, 114 potentially relevant articles were identified. After the screening the process, duplicate
records and articles that were not published between 2007 and 2018 or the ones that were not directly
related to construction safety were identified and excluded. Next, the full text of the publications
were reviewed to ascertain if they directly applied VR or MR to construction safety and at least one
of the research questions of this paper were discussed in their content. Forty-six publications were
identified after the incremental evaluation.
Figure 2. Literature selection following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-
Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Figure 2.
Literature selection following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and
Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Safety 2019,5, 51 5 of 16
3.2. Literature Classification
The 46 studies identified via the literature selection process were systematically sorted in order to
segregate the publication content and to facilitate data interpretation. This categorical sorting was
performed for each study following the criteria and questions illustrated in Table 1. The results section
discusses the outcome of the collected data for each of these research questions.
Table 1. Analysis criteria for each of the proposed research questions (RQ).
RQ1 RQ2 RQ3 RQ4 RQ5 RQ6
Status Safety-Related
Purpose
Safety
Application
Objective
Hazard Types System Type Hardware and
Software
Number of
publications
Education and
Training
Hazard
Identification General Safety Virtual Reality Peripheral
Hardware
Publication
year
Monitoring
On-Site
Environment
Hazard
Avoidance
Struck-by and
Caught-in
Augmented
Reality
Development
Software
Publication
Source
Preconstruction
Planning
Hazard
Response and
Communication
Fall Augmented
Virtuality
Publication
author(s)
Heavy
Equipment
Training
Electrical Mixed Reality
4. Results
4.1. RQ1: Status of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the status of the subject in academia
(RQ1). The number of publications per year has fluctuated over the last decade. The first five years
(2007–2012) present a low number of articles (average: 1.7/year), with zero relevant publications in 2008
and 2010. In 2011, it appears that the subject began to gain attention, with the number of publications
up from zero to four over the previous year. Since 2011, at least three papers have been published on
VR-MR for safety each year. During the past six years (2013–2018), the average of publications per year
was six. The number of publications with corresponding year range is illustrated in Figure 3.
2019, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 5 of 16
3.2. Literature Classification
The 46 studies identified via the literature selection process were systematically sorted in order
to segregate the publication content and to facilitate data interpretation. This categorical sorting was
performed for each study following the criteria and questions illustrated in Table 1. The results
section discusses the outcome of the collected data for each of these research questions.
Table 1. Analysis criteria for each of the proposed research questions (RQ).
RQ1 RQ2 RQ3 RQ4 RQ5 RQ6
Status Safety-Related
Purpose
Safety Application
Objective
Hazard
Types
System
Type
Hardware and
Software
Number of
publications
Education and
Training Hazard Identification General
Safety
Virtual
Reality
Peripheral
Hardware
Publication
year
Monitoring On-
Site
Environment
Hazard Avoidance
Struck-by
and Caught-
in
Augmented
Reality
Development
Software
Publication
Source
Preconstruction
Planning
Hazard Response and
Communication Fall Augmented
Virtuality
Publication
author(s) Heavy Equipment
Training Electrical Mixed
Reality
4. Results
4.1. RQ1: Status of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the status of the subject in academia
(RQ1). The number of publications per year has fluctuated over the last decade. The first five years
(2007–2012) present a low number of articles (average: 1.7/year), with zero relevant publications in
2008 and 2010. In 2011, it appears that the subject began to gain attention, with the number of
publications up from zero to four over the previous year. Since 2011, at least three papers have been
published on VR-MR for safety each year. During the past six years (2013–2018), the average of
publications per year was six. The number of publications with corresponding year range is
illustrated in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Number of publications on virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) for construction safety 2007–2018.
The number of publications within their corresponding year range were then organized for each
specific journal and conference. Table 2 itemizes the journals and conferences with at least two
publications of VR-MR applications for safety over the last decade. For journal publications,
Automation in Construction has published the largest number of papers on the topic of VR-MR for
construction safety (21.7%), followed by the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering (10.9%),
Construction Research Congress (8.7%), and the Journal of Information Technology in Construction and
0
2
4
6
8
10
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
Figure 3.
Number of publications on virtual- and mixed-reality (VR-MR) for construction
safety 2007–2018.
Safety 2019,5, 51 6 of 16
The number of publications within their corresponding year range were then organized for
each specific journal and conference. Table 2itemizes the journals and conferences with at least
two publications of VR-MR applications for safety over the last decade. For journal publications,
Automation in Construction has published the largest number of papers on the topic of VR-MR for
construction safety (21.7%), followed by the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering (10.9%), Construction
Research Congress (8.7%), and the Journal of Information Technology in Construction and Safety Science
(each with 6.5%). This distribution indicates that most VR-MR construction safety applications were
published in technology-related AEC journals.
Table 2. Number of publications by journal or conference with year range.
Journal or Conference Year Range Number of Publications
Automation in Construction (ELSEVIER) 2011–2018 10
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering (ASCE) 2012–2017 5
Construction Research Congress (ASCE) 2014–2018 4
Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon) 2007–2011 3
Safety Science (ELSEVIER) 2014–2016 3
Other 2007–2018 21
Total 2007–2018 46
The publication titles were assessed and the most common words in them were, predictably,
“construction” (65%) and “safety” (65%). “Virtual” (39%) and “reality” (33%) were also prominent,
reflecting the fact that VR was more often used than MR for construction safety applications. “Education”
(15%) and “training” (33%) were also widely used terms in the titles, reflecting the most common
purpose of VR-MR in construction safety. Additionally, the most prevalent researchers of VR-MR
for safety were identified (Table 3). Researchers Li,H. (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Chan,
G. (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Skitmore,M. (Queensland University of Technology) and
Fang,Y(Monash University) are major contributors of knowledge on the subject. The author with the
largest number of publications, Li,H., has seven articles that are related to VR-MR construction safety
applications from 2012 to 2015. His research encompasses VR and AR technologies, exploring safety
training, real-time site monitoring, and educational games. As a single author, Li, H. well represents
the spectrum of VR-MR studies related to construction safety. The top six authors contributing to the
study of VR-MR for construction safety often collaborated, and each addressed hazard identification
among other safety application objectives (see Table 3). Countries that conducted relevant research
were also assessed in this part of the study (see Figure 4). The United States has the most research
studies with 22 publications, followed by Australia (10), South Korea (8), and Hong Kong (8).
Table 3. Top six contributing authors.
Author Institution (Country) # of
Publications Safety Application Objectives
Li, H Hong Kong
Polytechnic University 7
Hazard Identification; Hazard
Avoidance; Heavy Equipment Safety;
Hazard Response and
Communication
Chan, G. Hong Kong
Polytechnic University 5Hazard Identification; Hazard
Avoidance; Heavy Equipment Safety
Skitmore, M. Queensland University
of Technology (Australia) 4Hazard Identification; Hazard
Avoidance; Heavy Equipment Safety
Fang, Y. Monash University
(Australia) 4Hazard Identification; Hazard
Avoidance; Heavy Equipment Safety
Sacks, R. Technion-Israel Institute
of Technology 3Hazard Identification; Hazard
Response and Communication
Teizer, J. Georgia Institute of
Technology (USA) 3Hazard Identification; Hazard
Avoidance; Heavy Equipment Safety
Safety 2019,5, 51 7 of 16
2019, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 7 of 16
Figure 4. Map of publications.
4.2. RQ2: Purpose of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the safety purpose of the study (RQ3).
The purpose of each article fell into the following three groups, directly related to safety: (1) education
and training, (2) monitoring on-site environment, or (3) preconstruction planning. The classifications
are not mutually exclusive; several researchers combined multiple purposes together. The
publications most commonly addressed education and training (37, 80.4%), followed by monitoring
the on-site environment (11, 23.91%), and lastly, VR-MR was leveraged as a preconstruction safety
planning tool (4, 9%). A single publication focused on tele-operation of cranes and did not fall within
the listed categories [23]. The training and education of workers, managers, and students was the
most common purpose of the VR-MR studies reviewed. VR and MR has a demonstrated potential to
provide training for dangerous fields of work, allowing users to simulate tasks while avoiding
exposure to chaotic jobsites [6]. VR-MR systems were designed as serious games in 8 out of the 32
training and education studies. For example, Li et al. [24] developed a multiuser VR training program
in which users were using a Wii game controller in order to learn and practice safe crane dismantling
procedures. An experiment compared inexperienced trainees using the VR training environment to
more experienced workers and those trained via traditional methods, with favourable results for the
VR users [24]. Similarly, Guo et al. [25] developed a highly collaborative VR game that allowed
several users trainees to perform construction operations within a virtual environment. The web-
based platform focused on specific construction operations, specifically activities associated to mobile
and tower cranes and pile drivers. The researchers stressed the importance of being able to interact
and collaborate with the game and other trainees. In another example, Dickinson et al. [26] performed
an experiment in a VR serious game focused on trench safety, and specfifically on struck-by, fall, and
caught-in hazards. Lin et al. [27] similarily developed a VR game designed to be immersive,
interactive, and entertaining to test the hazad identifcation skills of the users. Pedro et al. [28]
developed and tested an educational VR platform to teach students in the AEC field about the
dangers of construction. Costs and time were stated as main challenges related to the development
of the VR system. Due to these limitations, researchers are also investigating the use of 360 VR to
simulate construction sites and safety challenges. A 360-degree VR delivers a panoramic view of a
real-world environment with a high sense of presence (Bourke [29]). In contrast to traditional VR, 360
VR offers fast digital jobsite generation, easy to produce simulations, and high levels of realism due
to the inherent photography techniques used in this technology. For instance, Pham et al. [30]
developed a learning platform for improving safety education field trips using 360 VR. The
preliminary results of this study showed that there were no significant differences between the
Figure 4. Map of publications.
4.2. RQ2: Purpose of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the safety purpose of the study (RQ3).
The purpose of each article fell into the following three groups, directly related to safety: (1) education
and training, (2) monitoring on-site environment, or (3) preconstruction planning. The classifications
are not mutually exclusive; several researchers combined multiple purposes together. The publications
most commonly addressed education and training (37, 80.4%), followed by monitoring the on-site
environment (11, 23.91%), and lastly, VR-MR was leveraged as a preconstruction safety planning
tool (4, 9%). A single publication focused on tele-operation of cranes and did not fall within the
listed categories [
23
]. The training and education of workers, managers, and students was the most
common purpose of the VR-MR studies reviewed. VR and MR has a demonstrated potential to provide
training for dangerous fields of work, allowing users to simulate tasks while avoiding exposure
to chaotic jobsites [
6
]. VR-MR systems were designed as serious games in 8 out of the 32 training
and education studies. For example, Li et al. [
24
] developed a multiuser VR training program in
which users were using a Wii game controller in order to learn and practice safe crane dismantling
procedures. An experiment compared inexperienced trainees using the VR training environment to
more experienced workers and those trained via traditional methods, with favourable results for the VR
users [
24
]. Similarly, Guo et al. [
25
] developed a highly collaborative VR game that allowed several users
trainees to perform construction operations within a virtual environment. The web-based platform
focused on specific construction operations, specifically activities associated to mobile and tower cranes
and pile drivers. The researchers stressed the importance of being able to interact and collaborate
with the game and other trainees. In another example, Dickinson et al. [
26
] performed an experiment
in a VR serious game focused on trench safety, and specfifically on struck-by, fall, and caught-in
hazards. Lin et al. [
27
] similarily developed a VR game designed to be immersive, interactive, and
entertaining to test the hazad identifcation skills of the users. Pedro et al. [
28
] developed and tested an
educational VR platform to teach students in the AEC field about the dangers of construction. Costs
and time were stated as main challenges related to the development of the VR system. Due to these
limitations, researchers are also investigating the use of 360 VR to simulate construction sites and
safety challenges. A 360-degree VR delivers a panoramic view of a real-world environment with a
high sense of presence (Bourke [
29
]). In contrast to traditional VR, 360 VR oers fast digital jobsite
generation, easy to produce simulations, and high levels of realism due to the inherent photography
techniques used in this technology. For instance, Pham et al. [
30
] developed a learning platform for
improving safety education field trips using 360 VR. The preliminary results of this study showed
that there were no significant dierences between the students who used the 360 VR and those who
Safety 2019,5, 51 8 of 16
visited the real site to identify the hazards. In another series of studies, Eiris et al. [
31
,
32
] developed
a hazard identification training and assessment using 360 VR. Users in those studies found 360 VR
advantageous for learning about hazard identification.
Monitoring the on-site environment for safety was the sole objective of 4 out of the 11 (36%)
publications within the on-site monitoring category, while the remaining projects coupled on-site
monitoring with safety training or preconstruction planning. On-site monitoring combines VR-MR
systems with location trackers, providing valuable safety information to workers, often in real-time.
For example, Kim et al. [
33
] developed an AR system that employed Google Glass technology and
real-time tracking to augment the view of workers. Users were visually warned of approaching
equipment and vice versa, equipment operators were warned of approaching workers. Cheng and
Teizer [
34
] accessed the potential of VR technology combined with real-time tracking to improve
situational awareness of construction workers. The authors used radio-frequency identification (RFID)
tracking devices to monitor construction equipment and worker locations, displaying the information
in a virtual environment. The prototype study showed positive results; the researchers believe such
technology can help workers avoid hazardous situations and also train workers using “close call”
simulations in the virtual world. Li et al. [
35
] focused on safety and eciency training using VR and
real-time tracking. Using RFIDs and pre-defined hazard zones, workers were warned with a “beep”
from their hardhats when entering a dangerous area or the proximity of heavy machinery. Further,
real-time locations of equipment and workers were represented virtually in what the researchers called
the “Virtual Construction Simulation System”, which could be monitored by managers and safety
professionals. The researchers noted that the real-time data visualization only oers a limited level of
realism and argued that AR is the future of construction training.
Preconstruction safety planning is an important preliminary action that can be taken to eliminate
hazardous construction situations through proper design before the project begins. VR and MR systems
have proved to be strong facilitators of the design-for-safety process. For example,
Sacks et al.
[
35
] used
a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) that allowed construction managers and designers
to view and discuss the safety implications of various designs. Other studies employed VR for
preconstruction planning but did not include design professionals, leaving the safety planning to
project managers and superintendents [
36
38
]. Thus, the approach was slightly dierent: planning for
safety rather than designing for safety. In either case, virtual simulations of construction facilitated
conversations about pre-emptive actions that could be taken to ensure a safe, accident-free jobsite.
4.3. RQ3: Application Objective of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the aspect of safety that the technology
proposed to improve (RQ4). Safety application objective means the safety issue that the author(s)
aimed to address with VR-MR technology. After reviewing the 46 articles, four major categories
emerged: (1) hazard identification, (2) hazard avoidance, (3) hazard response and communication
and (4) heavy equipment safety. The categories are not mutually exclusive; several studies addressed
multiple application objectives, resulting in total percentages reaching over 100% (see Table 4below).
Table 4. Application objectives of VR-MR systems for construction safety.
Safety Application Objective # (%) of Publications
Hazard Identification 26 (56.5%)
Hazard Avoidance 11 (23.9%)
Hazard Response & Communication 8 (17.4%)
Heavy Equipment Safety 7 (15.2%)
Other 5 (10.9%)
Hazard identification is described by Bhoir and Esmeili [
12
] as the “foundation of any construction
safety program.” Hazard identification is the ability to identify unsafe conditions and such scenarios
Safety 2019,5, 51 9 of 16
should be dealt with in a proactive manner by management [
39
]. Zuluaga et al. [
40
] noted that “workers
cannot judge how severe and probable risky situations are when the hazards themselves have not
been identified in the first place.” Despite hazard identification’s noted importance for overall job
site safety, Albert et al. [
1
] claimed that there is a dearth of strategies to properly train workers in
hazard identification. Such training is not easily accomplished given the dynamic and ever-changing
atmosphere of a construction site [
6
,
41
]. VR and MR systems can oer engaging ways to train workers,
students, and managers in hazard identification. As an example, Lin et al. [
27
] published a study in
which university students navigated a VR construction environment as “Safety Inspectors” tasked
with identifying as many hazards as possible (e.g., unsafe material storage, uncapped rebar) within a
time limit. Similarly, Zhao et al. [
42
] designed a VR system in which users performed a site survey
with the goal to identify electrical hazards. Jeelani et al. [
6
] attributed poor hazard recognition levels to
the pervasive use of ineective and unengaging training practices. Jeelani et al. [
6
] used panoramic
photographs and videos to create an AR training environment to engage and challenge users to
properly identify hazards. In similar studies, Pham et al. [
30
] and Eiris et al. [
31
,
32
] used the power
of 360 panoramic VR to create hazard identification training and an assessment environment which
engage users in true-to-life simulations of construction jobsites.
Hazard avoidance VR-MR systems actively aided construction personnel to avoid dangerous
areas on site. Hazard avoidance systems most often employed real-time tracking and would warn
workers of hazardous areas or approaching equipment, diering from hazard identification platforms
which focused on the personal development of identification skills. For example, Cheng and Teizer [
34
]
developed a VR system which combined real-time tracking with virtual representations of workers
and equipment to provide a picture of an active jobsite. The real-time information allowed users to
avoid hazardous areas. Similarly, Li et al. [
30
] coupled sensors and warning tags installed in helmets
to alert workers approaching hazardous areas or dangerous heavy equipment using an AR platform.
Further, Li et al. [
35
] utilized VR to allow post-event analysis of near-miss incidents. With the ultimate
goal of hazard avoidance through improving the situational awareness of workers, Fang et al. [
43
,
44
]
created and tested an operator-assistance system for crane operators by leveraging real-time motion
sensing and VR-assisted representation of dynamic workspace.
VR-MR systems were also used for hazard-response- and communication-related applications.
If a hazard is properly identified on an active jobsite, the issue must be responded to appropriately
and communicated with other workers in order to avoid an accident or further injury. As an
example, Zhao and Lucas [
45
] designed a VR platform which addressed both hazard identification
and response, specifically for electrical hazards. Through a virtual simulation, users were trained on
safe emergency response procedures for people who come into contact with an electrical hazard. In
another example, Park and Kim [
37
] utilized both VR and AR to test a system which communicated
site hazards in real-time to workers through mobile phones. In another study, Shi et al. [
46
] utilized a
multi-user VR system with motion tracking capabilities to enhance iron-workers interpersonal social
interaction and communication simulating their work in high-rise buildings. In another recent study,
Olorunfemi et al.
[
47
] used a holographic MR technology that runs on Microsoft Hololens to better
enable visual interaction and enhance remote collaboration for jobsite risk communication on the
construction jobsites.
Heavy equipment on construction sites poses a unique set of safety hazards and few VR-MR
platforms have been designed to train equipment operators on proper, safe practices. For example,
an MR system tested by Segura et al. [
48
] provided a realistic excavator training environment while
eliminating any real danger. Trainees entered into a real excavator cabin, while a unique HMD
system, combined with a blue screen and cameras, allowed the user to simultaneously view a virtual
construction site and also the real controls of the excavator cabin. An example of VR for heavy
equipment safety, the researchers combined real-time tracking and BIM to create a virtual training
environment for crane operators [
43
,
44
,
49
]. Within the VR system, a “close-to-reality experience” of
Safety 2019,5, 51 10 of 16
lifting operations was provided. Further, the diculty of the lifting scenarios could be increased as
trainees progressed through the training.
4.4. RQ4: Hazard Categories Addressed in VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were also analysed to determine the hazard category the system
proposed to address (RQ4). VR-MR studies either sought to address a broad range of safety issues
or focused on a specific category of hazards. According to the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA), there are four categories of hazards which cause the majority (64.2%) of
construction fatalities [
50
]. The “focus four” hazard categories are: fall, struck-by, caught-in or -between,
and electrocution. The 46 VR-MR studies reviewed heavily reflect this reality and mainly target on
the focus four hazards defined by OSHA. Numerous VR-MR publications addressed general safety
hazards, without singling out a specific hazard type. Aside from the broad category of “general
safety”, three specific hazard categories emerged: (1) struck-by and caught-in, (2) fall, and (3) electrical.
The classifications are not mutually exclusive; several researchers addressed hazards across multiple
categories, resulting in totalled percentages reaching over 100% (see Table 5below). Although not
the single leading cause of death in the construction industry, researchers most commonly targeted
struck-by or caught-in hazards (45.6%). Struck-by or caught-in hazards often are associated with
heavy equipment, a piece of technology that researchers have been able to compliment with digital
interfaces such as tablets, which provide operators an additional layer of contextual information
(e.g.,
Fang et al.
[
51
]). The next most common focus was general safety (34.8%), followed by falls
(28.3%), and lastly, electrical hazards (13%). Talmaki et al. [
52
] focused on the hazard of striking
underground utilities and Lu and Davis [
53
] discussed the eects of noise on risk perception—the two
publications are listed as “other” (4.3%).
Table 5. Hazard categories addressed by VR-MR system.
Hazard Category # (%) of Publications
Struck-by or Caught-in 21 (45.6%)
General Safety 16 (34.8%)
Fall 13 (28.3%)
Electrical 6 (13.0%)
Other 2 (4.3%)
The categories of struck-by and caught-in are similar hazard types in that they are often caused
by corresponding construction activities, especially the operation of heavy equipment such as cranes.
For example, a rotating crane may pose a struck-by hazard for workers underneath the material load
and simultaneously, a caught-in hazard for workers near the rotating equipment. Thus, the two hazard
types are grouped into one category for the purpose of this review, as any study which focused on
heavy equipment naturally addressed both struck-by and caught-in hazards, making distinguishing
between the two irrelevant. Fang et al. [
49
] focused on struck-by and caught-in hazards using a
VR platform. The study used ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking to warn crane operators of potential
collisions with actual on-site objects. The researchers emphasized the importance of an accurate as-built
virtual environment and the need to improve the situational awareness of heavy equipment operators.
In more recent studies, they combined laser scan data, sensors, and a tablet computer to provide
crane operators with real-time obstacle information using VR [
43
,
44
,
51
]. Park et al. [
54
] conducted
early development of an AR system based around a transparent tower crane window where hazard
information was augmented onto the crane window to assist crane operators to avoid striking objects
or personnel.
The studies that addressed construction safety in general, targeting a multitude of hazards,
were categorized under “general safety”. As an example, Albert et al. [
1
] used AV to address
general safety hazards. The researchers used a unique hazard categorization technique based on
Safety 2019,5, 51 11 of 16
10 energy sources: gravity, motion, mechanical, electrical, pressure, temperature, chemical, biological,
radiation, and sound. The theory was that all hazardous scenarios in construction originate from
one of these energy sources. The researchers tested the AV system and showed that crews could
identify 46% of hazards prior to the intervention and 77% of hazards in the postintervention phase [
1
].
Goulding et al.
[
55
] used theories from behavioural psychology to develop a VR game in which
participants managed a construction site, with various hazard types present. The team recognized the
capability of a VR experience to enhance knowledge transfer and retention, citing the Chinese proverb:
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” [55].
Fall accidents are the leading cause of death in construction [
50
]. One research project focused
solely on fall hazards using an MR platform [
56
], while eight studies coupled falls with other hazards.
For example, Teizer et al. [
57
] designed a VR worker training system for an especially dangerous
construction activity: steel erection. Ironworkers face one of the highest fatality rates in construction,
mostly due to falls [
57
]. The researchers coupled real-time tracking devices (UWB) with VR technology
to train ironworkers in an indoor facility. The platform allowed for post-assessment analysis after each
training session to allow users to learn from potentially hazardous actions. Li et al. [
58
] monitored
the on-site environment using virtual objects and real-time tracking to address fall and struck-by
hazards. Using predefined boundary boxes and digital danger zones, workers were warned whenever
approaching an unprotected edge or opening.
Zhao and Lucas [
45
] developed a VR worker training system for an especially dangerous and
invisible force: electricity. By leveraging VR, the researchers were able to simulate the eects of a
deadly force—electricity—while also creating an active, engaging learnings scenario. Thirteen students
tested the prototype and reported positive experiences. The researchers built oprevious research [
59
]
which discussed the concept of a serious game for VR training. Zhao et al. [
59
] designed a prototype in
which participants navigated a virtual environment and “health points” could be lost through careless
behaviour related to overhead powerlines and other electrocution hazards.
4.5. RQ5: Types of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the system type deployed (RQ5).
Two major technical categorizations emerged during the literature analysis: VR and MR. VR is
the dominant system in the industry for safety. The majority of the 46 studies reviewed used VR
(71.7%) compared to MR (23.9%), with two studies utilizing both technologies in conjunction (4.35%).
Within the realm of MR, AR was used in five studies, AV in three studies, and the specific term
“mixed reality” was used in two studies [
48
,
56
]. Both VR and MR have limitations. VR is cited as
having high development costs [
19
,
27
,
28
], while MR faces the challenge of “drift” and the tracking of
moving objects [
60
]. Figure 5illustrates MR-VR examples for construction safety applications along
the reality–virtuality spectrum.
2019, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 11 of 16
used theories from behavioural psychology to develop a VR game in which participants managed a
construction site, with various hazard types present. The team recognized the capability of a VR
experience to enhance knowledge transfer and retention, citing the Chinese proverb: “I hear and I
forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” [55].
Fall accidents are the leading cause of death in construction [50]. One research project focused
solely on fall hazards using an MR platform [56], while eight studies coupled falls with other hazards.
For example, Teizer et al. [57] designed a VR worker training system for an especially dangerous
construction activity: steel erection. Ironworkers face one of the highest fatality rates in construction,
mostly due to falls [57]. The researchers coupled real-time tracking devices (UWB) with VR
technology to train ironworkers in an indoor facility. The platform allowed for post-assessment
analysis after each training session to allow users to learn from potentially hazardous actions. Li et
al. [58] monitored the on-site environment using virtual objects and real-time tracking to address fall
and struck-by hazards. Using predefined boundary boxes and digital danger zones, workers were
warned whenever approaching an unprotected edge or opening.
Zhao and Lucas [45] developed a VR worker training system for an especially dangerous and
invisible force: electricity. By leveraging VR, the researchers were able to simulate the effects of a
deadly force—electricity—while also creating an active, engaging learnings scenario. Thirteen
students tested the prototype and reported positive experiences. The researchers built off previous
research [59] which discussed the concept of a serious game for VR training. Zhao et al. [59] designed
a prototype in which participants navigated a virtual environment and “health points” could be lost
through careless behaviour related to overhead powerlines and other electrocution hazards.
4.5. RQ5: Types of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the system type deployed (RQ5). Two
major technical categorizations emerged during the literature analysis: VR and MR. VR is the
dominant system in the industry for safety. The majority of the 46 studies reviewed used VR (71.7%)
compared to MR (23.9%), with two studies utilizing both technologies in conjunction (4.35%). Within
the realm of MR, AR was used in five studies, AV in three studies, and the specific term “mixed
reality” was used in two studies [48,56]. Both VR and MR have limitations. VR is cited as having high
development costs [19,27,28], while MR faces the challenge of “drift” and the tracking of moving
objects [60]. Figure 5 illustrates MR-VR examples for construction safety applications along the
reality–virtuality spectrum.
Figure 5. MR-VR examples for construction safety applications along the reality–virtuality spectrum.
VR is powerful in its ability to generate unlimited training scenarios [5]. For example (see Figure 5),
trainees were able to virtually experience the dangers of confronting overhead powerlines and
potential electrocution, without physically being exposed to real dangers [59]. Or, in another
example, workers repeatedly dismantled a virtual crane to practice proper safety protocol, until the
Figure 5. MR-VR examples for construction safety applications along the reality–virtuality spectrum.
Safety 2019,5, 51 12 of 16
VR is powerful in its ability to generate unlimited training scenarios [
5
]. For example (see Figure 5),
trainees were able to virtually experience the dangers of confronting overhead powerlines and potential
electrocution, without physically being exposed to real dangers [
59
]. Or, in another example, workers
repeatedly dismantled a virtual crane to practice proper safety protocol, until the routine was safely
committed to memory [
24
]. The adaptability of VR has allowed the technology to be incorporated in a
variety of innovative safety interventions for construction.
Bosch
é
et al. [
56
] serves as an illustrative example of MR for safety training. In the experiment,
real world objects, such as beams and bricks, were combined with a 3D virtual environment that
created the sensation of working at elevation (see Figure 5). The researchers noted that their system lay
in the middle of the reality–virtuality spectrum. The system was designed to give participants a safe
environment in which to work, for example, laying bricks on the ground level of the laboratory, while
using a HMD (Head-Mounted Display) to provide the sensation of laying the bricks on an elevated
surface. Within the spectrum of MR, Park et al. [
54
] experimented with AR to provide crane operators
with more information while performing lifting operations. The proposed system was centred around
a transparent Heads-Up Display (HUD) crane window onto which pertinent information could be
augmented (see Figure 5). An example of AV (see Figure 5) comes from research by Albert et al. [
1
]
which discussed the development of a system called System for Augmented Virtuality Environment
Safety (SAVES). The researchers combined BIM with 700 construction images to create a serious game
learning environment that taught hazard identification. Users increased their hazard identification
score on average from 47% to 77% through the AV system.
4.6. RQ6: Hardware and Software of VR-MR Systems for Construction Safety
The 46 VR-MR publications were analysed to determine the peripheral hardware and development
software used (RQ6). Virtual- and mixed-reality environments are generated by the interaction between
three components: computers, software, and peripheral hardware [
3
]. The hardware is the key
interaction point, connecting the user and the virtual or augmented world. The most immersive
hardware options are HMD and CAVE [
19
]. Immersive training is an answer to issues voiced regarding
the eectiveness of safety education in the industry described by Wilkins [
2
] and Zuluaga et al. [
40
],
meaning HMD and CAVE hardware is advantageous. Table 6lists the hardware categories with the
corresponding number of publications. Most frequently (21, 45.7%), studies employed the traditional
arrangement of the computer setting: using a monitor together with a mouse and keyboard to interact
with the virtual environment. Such low-cost setups which are readily available and do not require
purchasing expensive VR-only equipment that do not already come with most computers. Although
not as immersive as HMD or CAVE environments, the simple set up using monitor, keyboard, and
mouse is cost eective. Five studies (10.9%) extended this traditional arrangement by adding a game
controller (e.g., a Wii controller) to facilitate interaction and navigation within the VR-MR environment.
Mobile devices and tablets (7, 15.2%) were used to extend the VR-MR environment into the field,
giving workers and managers access to safety information on the go. For the highest level of user
immersion, HMD (11, 23.9%) and CAVE (3, 6.5%) were used. Such devices give the user a high sense
of presence, compared to computer monitors. However, there are additional costs—both in hardware
and development—related to HMD and CAVE technologies and thus, these are perhaps restrictive for
some academic studies. It is worth noting that recently, ease of access to very low-cost solutions such
as Google Cardboards has made experiencing immersive VR available to an even larger population.
These VR cardboards usually have a very low cost, allowing scalable adoption by utilizing mobile
phone technologies that are readily available to most users.
Safety 2019,5, 51 13 of 16
Table 6. Peripheral hardware used in VR-MR publications.
Type of Display/Input # (%) of Publications
Monitor/Mouse-Keyboard 21 (45.7%)
HMD/Keyboard-Mouse-Gamepad-Motion Tracking 11 (23.9%)
Mobile Device and Tablets/Finger Touch 7 (15.2%)
Monitor/Game Controller 5 (10.9%)
CAVE/Keyboard-Mouse-Gamepad-Motion Tracking 3 (6.5%)
HUD/Motion Tracking 1 (2.2%)
Computer software is used to create simulations and digital elements, such as buildings and
construction equipment. Software is a key development tool for both VR and MR applications.
Some software are used to model a highly realistic virtual environment, while software known as
game engines are used to develop games inclusive of the rendering, object creation, and system
interaction [
12
]. The software packages utilized to develop the VR-MR platforms were numerous,
with the game engine Unity 3D (30.4%) being the most commonly specified, followed by the modelling
software Autodesk 3ds Max (17.4%) and Autodesk Revit (15.2%). Ten of the 46 publications (21.7%)
did not list the software used. Table 7shows the most common software specified. Publications often
combined more than one software to develop the VR-MR platform.
Table 7. Software used in VR-MR publications.
Software Year Range # (%) of Publications
Unity 3D (Game Engine) 2012–2018 14 (30.4%)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009–2017 8 (17.4%)
Autodesk Revit 2011–2017 7 (15.2%)
Torque 3D (Game Engine) 2009–2016 4 (8.7%)
Autodesk MAYA (Game Engine) 2011–2015 4 (8.7%)
Trimble Sketchup and 3D Warehouse 2013–2017 3 (6.5%)
Microsoft XNA Game Studio (Game Engine) 2011–2013 3 (6.5%)
3DVIA Virtools (Game Engine) 2012 2 (4.3%)
Not listed - 10 (21.7%)
5. Conclusions
This review paper provides a thorough analysis of contemporary publications by scholars related
to VR-MR for construction safety, as well as specific examples illustrating current research trends.
The status of VR-MR for safety was illustrated through a systematic analysis of published literature
on the topic. VR is the most dominant system type (compared to technologies falling within the MR
spectrum), despite cited issues of computational cost and development time. Education and training
is the most common purpose of the VR-MR for safety applications, and the majority of researchers
applied VR-MR technology as a tool for improving hazard identification skills, followed by hazard
avoidance and hazard response and communication. The most common hazard category addressed
was struck-by and caught-in, followed by general safety and fall hazards. The majority of researchers
used computer monitors and keyboards for system interaction, choosing this low-cost commonly
available peripheral hardware over more immersive options such as HMDs of CAVEs. Unity 3D game
engine was the most commonly used software to create VR-MR for safety applications.
In the foreseeable future, VR-MR for construction safety will continue to be a subject of research
in the construction industry. The large moral and financial burden caused by construction accidents,
coupled with the dangers of on-site safety training, demand innovative new approaches to safety.
The studies varied in objective, technology, and scope, yet the studies consistently reported positive
results from safety interventions using VR-MR systems. Further studies should be conducted to
quantify direct impact on accident reduction, to analyse the long-term learning eects of VR-MR safety
training platforms, and to address the computational and cost limitations of VR-MR development.
Safety 2019,5, 51 14 of 16
As technology advances, more realistic and personalized training interventions can help workers
properly identify and remedy on-site hazards and have improved situational awareness. Using low-cost
VR platforms (e.g., Google Cardboards), can democratize safety education and make it available to
a larger population. With progress and further research, injuries and deaths in construction might
be reduced through VR-MR technologies. It is worth noting that this review paper only focuses on
the research articles published in the peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings to illustrate
the state-of-the-art of VR-MR applications for construction safety. Building on the outcomes of this
literature review and to capture the state-of-the-practice, other studies should be conducted using
review, survey, or interview techniques and targeting construction professionals to investigate how
they use VR-MR for safety purposes.
Author Contributions:
All authors contributed to the idea and concept of this study. Writing—original draft
preparation, H.F.M.; writing—review and editing, H.F.M. and M.G.; supervision, M.G.; funding acquisition, M.G.
Funding:
This research was funded by CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training—Through
cooperative agreement number U60-OH009762 from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the ocial views
of the CPWR or NIOSH.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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