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Objectives of a hazard spotting workshop

Used as part of a prevention plan, either for safety days, safety wellcome, or the safety quarter-hour, risk hunting is the perfect training tool to no longer make health/safety a break!

The objective is always the same: to better understand the risks or good practices, by identifying one or more anomalies on a scene representing a work environment with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of accidents in the company. And the benefits are significant.Hazard spotting is a tool conducive to think, give feedback and, therefore, improves motivation, awareness of occupational risks.

According to CARSAT, although the number of accidents at work, commuting and occupational diseases fell in 2021, mental illnesses increased. Companies must reinvent their hygiene, health and safety training program so that the employee gets involved and follows a pleasant, repeatable and engaging activity.

Another driver: the versatility because each person can follow the hazard spotting on a poster, behind their computer, with a virtual reality helmet for a simulation, individually or collectively. Its drawing (or design) represents the working conditions, as well as the individual protective equipment of the company or the community with its risk areas, whether chemical, industrial, circulation, etc.

The different types of hazard spotting 

Paper hazard spotting 

It can take the form of a plate of several tens of centimeters.

It's about finding the error on a real photo: this level of play does not allow you to discover the risks in a work environment but, on the other hand, allows you to identify a bad practice, a bad gesture or equipment, by giving an answer orally, in a face-to-face meeting. It requires the presence of a facilitator who positions the errors to be identified using stickers, validates the answers or directs the players towards risky situations.

Photo Credit : CARSAT- France Nord Picardie 

The “Escape game” hazard spotting

Used in particular in the healthcare sector training, it involves participants entering a patient's room and identifying several anomalies in a real environment. For example, the patient card is missing, the medication on the bedside table does not fit the treatment, the feeding tube is empty, etc. By being immersed in a real environment, participants can easily transpose these practices into their daily world. This principle is also declined in digital form.

The digital hazard spotting 

The quality of the graphics allows the representation of a store, a warehouse.

Each digital risk hunting project is personalized: the graphics of the work situation are clearly represented. The training is followed individually or collectively.

The Immersive hazard spotting - 360 degrees on PC

The trainer can provide hazard spotting on PC, which reproduces a virtual environment in 360 degrees. In this environment, the participant activates his computer mouse or his pad on a tablet to move in space. The simulation is almost real although the user is not in total immersion as with virtual reality. However, this hazard spotting offers many possibilities of scenarios depending on the paths in space. It encourages repetition, which promotes memory anchoring.


Photo credit: Graphito Prevention

Virtual hazard spotting with a virtual reality headset

It is a total immersion, the learner is placed in a situation thanks to the virtual reality headset. .

He can move around in the environment and experience the accident as if he were there. With his hand, he points to the risk he has identified and can validate or not his answer. Immersive Factory  has been developing many workshops for a few years and has added a quiz system to the VIRTUAL REALITY simulation to reinforce learning.

This type of hazard spotting allows this flexibility and thus adds an additional layer of pedagogy. In addition to identifying the risk or the accident-prone situation, the user has a clear explanation of the answer, allowing the learning to be permanently anchored in the memory. To stimulate the teams, the exercise must be done within an allotted time. It is therefore recommended that inspectors do the exercise before asking their teams to test it.

Photo: Immersive Factory - VR hazard spotting for construction sector 

When done in a group, the workshop is broadcast on screen, so employees can learn from the mistakes of others and debrief together.

The facilitator can personalize the sessions, define the length, the level of difficulty. All types of environments can be simulated, such as different types of hazards in a company warehouse.

What are the benefits of hazard spotting? 

  • Fun and engaging to improve skills
  • Ideal for measuring knowledge and receiving feedback
  • Allows you to express your ideas, your choices
  • Encourages reflection, feedback to progress and be engaged 

Studies have shown that participating in safety training can have a significant impact on employee safety behavior in the workplace, which benefits employees as well as the machines they use. (Source NCBI)

With virtual reality, these benefits are multiplied:

  • Immersion in the life of a patroller, a construction worker etc
  • Awareness of immediate danger
  • Adoption of practices thanks to the real although virtual feeling

Virtual reality hazard and safety training allows learners to be up to 4 times more focused than their e-learning counterparts and 1.5 times more focused than traditional training. (Source PWC)

Gamification at the service of HSE

Gamification is increasingly popular in companies today. Indeed, employees working from home suffer from a lack of motivation due to very limited discussions with colleagues, which are reduced to chains of emails or videoconferences. The choices of tools in place to break with this routine (such as a virtual hazard spotting workshop), also helps to bring out ideas, to stimulate discussions, to generate new solutions to improve prevention strategies. 

Photo: Immersive Factory - virtual campus 

Feedback: a key step for progress

The feedback sends the employee information on his action: did he succeed, should he start again, how to improve in a risky situation?

The GALLUP research institute has identified that when workers have at least one feedback from their manager once a week, they are 3 times more likely to be motivated to do a great job. On the other hand, regular feedback makes it possible to prepare for individual end-of-year interviews: you do not have to come back on the issues encountered during this interview, which could be very counter-productive, as the solutions have already been found and are now over. 

In a compliant market, integrating moments of play such as hazard spotting in its action plans allows anyone concerned to invest positively and set up a form of agile organization thanks to scalable and inclusive virtual tools.


Carsat Midi-Pyrénées - France 

NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470479/

PWC https://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/intelligent-digital/virtual-reality-vr-augmented-reality-ar/study-into-vr-training-effectiveness.html

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