Arcelor Mittal Uses VR Training to Test Employees’ Fear of Heights

There are a lot of use cases for VR technology in this day and age. Companies are experimenting with different business models as we speak. Arcelor Mittal uses VR to help people overcome their fear of heights. Although it is not a unique project, a lot of people aren’t even aware they suffer from vertigo. In the long run, trials like can save countless lives.

Arcelor Mittal Takes an Interesting Approach

Anyone who has ever put on a VR headset will acknowledge the technology plays tricks on the human brain. While our brain knows it is in the real world, the immersive aspect of VR can easily make the rest of one’s body think otherwise. Arcelor Mittal is using this peculiar mindset for a specific purpose. The company is looking for ways to help people determine whether or not they have a fear of heights. It is a lot more intriguing than people would expect, as testing for vertigo is not all that easy.

More specifically, the new simulation created by this company takes users to the top of a blast furnace at the steel plant in South Africa. It is an experience mainly designed for workers tasked with repairing and maintaining the Vanderbijlpark plant. Considering how this plant relies on its two blast furnaces, it is important to determine whether or not employees may suffer from a fear of heights. Knowing that vital information in advance can eventually save lives.

Known as the Blast Furnace Experience, this VR training program is pretty interesting. Thanks to a collaboration with LRMG Performance Agency, the experience will put VR users through the process of standing atop the blast furnace. Based on their reaction, the firm hopes to determine who is suited for the job and who isn’t. The experience includes a moving platform and fans simulating a wind speed hundreds of feet in the air. It is a pretty compelling experience, albeit one most people would not comfortable with, for obvious reasons.

So far, this experience has been tested by 400 employees. Most of them successfully passed the test, though eight have a crippling fear of heights. Surprisingly, none of those eight had any inkling of an idea that would be the outcome. One could argue eight lives have already been saved by VR in this regard. Arcelor Mittal is heading in an interesting direction with this VR training exercise. One can only hope more companies will follow its lead by example.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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By Mark Arguinbaev

Mark is a 28 year old internet entrepreneur. He is a bitcoin enthusiast and a technology addict. He loves writing and educating readers about the newest tech trends.