Spot the accident before it happens

Bringing digital to life 8 May 2019 Åge Staghøj

The number of accidents drops significantly when construction workers get to experience a building site in a 3D universe, before they step onto the site in real life.

3 min

At the construction site of a new large-scale hospital in central Jutland, the number of work-related accidents was reduced by more than half – and when Norwegian Statsbygg built new headquarters in 2018, there were no accidents at all.

This was largely due to a new interactive 3D tool developed by Ramboll: a virtual reality (VR) simulator.


To gain access to a given construction site, the employees must perform a number of safety tasks and procedures in the 3D tool, which shows the construction site in detail. This helps construction workers anticipate and avoid accidents on-site.

That is why the contractor Itinera is now using the 3D tool at one of the largest construction projects in Denmark, namely Storstrømsbroen.

“There will be more than 300 people working on the site the next three to four years”, Ennio Buson, project manager at Itinera, explains. “Safety is a high priority for us. We have chosen Ramboll’s 3D tool, because it reduced the number of accidents significantly on other sites”.

Take responsibility

Special consultant and game developer at Ramboll, Åge Staghøj, explains that the 3D tool teaches the workers to take responsibility for their own safety in an engaging and straightforward way.

“It improves their ability to anticipate an accident at the construction site,” Åge Staghøj says.

At the hospital in Central Jutland, the use of the 3D tool was expanded with monthly competitions among the employees to come up with the best ideas for making the working environment even safer. For example, a team thought of a tripod that prevents 60 kilo gas bottles from toppling over. This was just one of more than 1,700 ideas for improving health and safety.

”The 3D tool has helped workers take ownership of their working environment. In addition to reducing accidents and providing a good workplace for all, it also improves the bottom line,” says Poul Michaelsen, Hospital Director at the hospital in central Jutland.

The working environment is becoming increasingly important, in part because of its inclusion in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, goal number 8.8 states: “Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments of all workers”. Legislation and other working environment rules are also being tightened.

Written by Michael Rothenborg

3d game screenshot

Screenshot from the game

construction site

3d game

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