Multiuser virtual safety training system for tower crane dismantlement

Heng Li, Greg Chan, Martin Skitmore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Tower crane dismantling is one of the most dangerous activities in the construction industry. Tower crane erection and dismantlement causes 10-12% of the fatalities of all crane accidents. The nature of the task is such that off-the-job training is not practicable, and the knowledge and expertise needed has to be gained on the job. However, virtual trainers such as Microsoft Flight Simulator for airplane pilots and mission rehearsal exercise (MRE) for army personnel have been developed and are known to provide a highly successful means of overcoming the risks involved in such on-the-job learning and clearly have potential in construction situations. This paper describes the newly developed multiuser virtual safety training system (MVSTS) aimed at providing a similar learning environment for those involved in tower crane dismantlement. The proposed training system is developed by modifying an existing game engine. Within the close-to-reality virtual environment, trainees can participate in a virtual dismantling process. During the process, they learn the correct dismantling procedure and working location and to cooperate with other trainees by virtually dismantling the crane. The system allows the trainees to experience the complete procedure in a risk-free environment. A case study is provided to demonstrate how the system works and its practical application. The proposed system was evaluated by interviews with 30 construction experts with different backgrounds, divided into three groups according to their experience and trained by the traditional and virtual methods, respectively. The results indicate that the trainees of the proposed system generally learned better than those using the traditional method. The ratings also indicate that the system generally has great potential as a training platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-647
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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