Workers’ compensation insurer, Texas Mutual Insurance Co., announced it has accepted the Strategy Meets Action (SMA) Innovation in Action Award for its development of Safety in a Box, which uses virtual reality (VR) technology for workplace safety training.
The Innovation in Action Award is given each year by Strategy Meets Action, a leading strategic advisory services firm. The award recognizes insurers who are rethinking, reimagining and reinventing the business of insurance.
“We believe Safety in a Box is a life saving educational tool, so it means a lot for our work to be recognized in this way,” Jeremiah Bentley, Texas Mutual senior marketing and community affairs manager, said in the company’s announcement.
Safety in a Box and its accompanying app allow the user to “experience” four different construction site accidents: being caught in a collapsing trench, touching an active electrical line, falling from a ledge, and being struck by a falling object.
The app uses a Google Cardboard viewer for engaging in the VR experience. Users can download the program in English or Spanish to any smartphone, insert the phone into the viewer and immediately become part of several virtual worksites developed for the project. The viewer also has the element of portability, allowing multiple users to participate at any worksite. Safety in a Box is available now for Android and iPhone users.
The company said this application was the first time virtual reality has been used for workplace safety in the insurance industry, and Texas Mutual hopes that this technology will help prevent workplace accidents in the construction industry by promoting safe work practices.
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