Occupational Safety

Real-life experience, without the risk

The UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) will soon incorporate virtual reality (VR) into our worker health and safety training programs—a kind of digital “apprenticeship” that could save real lives on the job.

Starting next year, DEOHS will pilot-test VR simulation in some training courses for construction workers and others on how to work safely in confined spaces—think construction pits, tunnels and storage containers.

Co-piloting a program to launch careers

[Reprinted with permission from the fall 2018 edition of Northwest Public Health magazine.]

Jenna Buchanan is on a mission to improve the culture of safety at Boeing. She seeks to learn lessons not only from accidents but also from close calls.

Buchanan is a 2007 graduate of the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) in the School of Public Health. She recalls how a reporting system and quick action at Boeing helped to protect an aircraft mechanic from a potentially fatal fall.