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Simulations in the Construction Industry

In the construction industry, it's crucial to have a skilled workforce that can perform tasks safely, and with accuracy and efficiency. Traditionally, apprenticeships and on-the-job training have been the primary methods for building these skills, but with the rise of online learning, there's an additional, flexible way to train and develop construction workers: online skills simulations.

Online skills simulations are becoming an increasingly popular educational tool in the construction industry. While they can't completely replace face-to-face training, online simulation is an interactive, virtual training resource that allows workers to learn and practice tasks and procedures in a safe and controlled environment. This type of simulation can replicate different processes, tasks, scenarios and situations that workers may encounter on the job, such as using tools, equipment and heavy machinery; how to safely work at heights; identifying risks on a site; handling hazardous materials. Even important soft or professional skills can be simulated, such as time management, how to be a good team member, and handling conflict with a co-worker.

What are the benefits of online simulations in construction?

One of the benefits of online skills simulations is that they can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and be used at any pace to suit the learner. Workers can log in to the simulation platform from their computer, tablet, or mobile device and complete training modules at their convenience. This flexibility makes it easier for workers to fit training into their busy schedules, or even get prepared while travelling as part of a relocation.

Simulations can also reduce the time and costs associated with traditional in-person training since it’s now proven that people who have had prior training through simulations will get more value from face-to-face training and need less time because they have existing knowledge. They can also go back and refresh skills by accessing the simulations again at a future time. This is very useful for refreshing skills that are not utilized as often as others.

Online skills simulations are usually designed to provide instant feedback to workers, which can help them identify areas where they need to improve. They can repeat a simulation until they feel confident in their abilities, and this can help them avoid making mistakes on the job that could potentially result in accidents or injuries.

In this way online skills simulations can also benefit employers by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries on the job site. Workers who are skilled and work-ready help to increase productivity, reduce costs, and ensure the quality of the work. Employers can easily track the progress of their workers’ training, and ensure that each person has the necessary skills to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

What are online skills simulations?

A skills simulation is where the learner can learn the steps of a skill or process online, even before they have access to a site or any equipment. Obviously an online simulation does not fully replace hands-on training, but it’s still a powerful training tool since it allows trainees to learn, practice and test their cognitive knowledge of:

  • the steps of the skill / procedure and the sequence in which they should be performed
  • what equipment or tool to use, and when
  • how to set up and use the equipment or tool
  • how to apply the equipment or tool, for instance what angle to hold it or where to place it on the object it’s being used with
  • the potential risks and consequences inherent to the procedure
  • how to avoid those risks
  • how long the procedure should take, in an optimum situation
  • the roles of other team members who are involved
  • how to deal with issues that might arise during the procedure.

This type of simulation allows construction trainees and professionals to learn and try out new skills and processes they are not yet familiar with, helping them to understand what needs to be done on sites, identify potential issues, learn about how to work in a team, and improve the overall construction process.

How can online simulations be used in the construction industry?

Here are a few ways for using online skills simulations in the construction industry:

  1. Health and safety training: Online simulations can be used to provide construction workers with realistic training on safety procedures. By simulating both basic and dangerous scenarios, workers can learn how to identify and respond to issues, and even emergencies, without risking their own safety while learning.

  2. Equipment training: Online simulations can be used to provide training on the use of specific construction equipment. By simulating the operation of tools and heavy machinery, workers can learn how to use the equipment safely and efficiently. With scenario-based simulations, they can also experience the results of making incorrect decisions, with no risk or danger to themselves or their co-workers!

  3. Site visualization and exploration: Online simulations can be used to provide a virtual tour of a large construction site, allowing workers to visualize the layout and how to find their way around. This can be as simple as a layout diagram or a full 3D panoramic image to learn the different areas of a site, where hazards can be found, the location of facilities and first aid equipment.


Overall, online simulations are a powerful tool for the construction industry. By providing realistic scenarios, a safe and controlled environment, and enabling workers to interactively visualize and try out the skills and procedures involved in the construction process, simulations can help employers to improve safety, reduce costs, and ultimately ensure the success of their construction projects. As technology continues to advance, online skills simulations will likely become an even more integral part of training in the construction industry.

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