Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced the addition of a new training session on "Snap-back zones" to its mariner safety education program using virtual reality (VR) goggles and VR technology created by Tsumiki Seisaku Co., Ltd.
Snap-back zones happens when a tow line broke due to improper tension, the rope snapped back instantly. In some cases, this can cause life-threatening injuries.
The tool enhances seafarers' risk perception by allowing them to visualize and virtually experience onboard accidents-depicted with advanced computer graphics - that can occur due to unsafe behavior, leading to improved safety awareness.
The new session is the fourth in the series, following "Preventing accidental falls", "Cargo falling from cranes," and "Response to onboard fires".
The scenario shows a tow line between a tugboat and a merchant vessel breaking, snapping back, and hitting a seafarer in the back with great force.
This type of accident is difficult to depict with conventional video, because it occurs behind the seafarers, but the realistic new VR-based content results in a more effective training experience because it allows changes in perspective and directions.
MOL aims to ensure safe, stable cargo transport by meeting the needs of front-line seafarers for realistic training with the seeds of technology that will make the company the world leader in safe operation.