OSHA funded Fall Safety VR Training Simulator

Listed in Datasets

By James L. Jenkins1, George Takahashi1, Wan Ju Huang1, Jordan McGraw1, Amanda Luginbuhl1, Laura Theademan1

Purdue University

VR Training Simulator and source files funded by the Susan Harwood Grant in 2017 to instruct fall safety concepts.

Version 1.0 - published on 06 Jan 2020 doi:10.4231/Z77S-QH47 - cite this

Licensed under Attribution 3.0 Unported

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OSHA funded Fall Safety VR Training Simulator is a Virtual Reality application built as an instructional safety platform to train construction workers on safe practices at construction sites, particularly when it comes to the dangers of falls. The application is meant to facilitate traditional training as a series of engaging and interactive tests that aid workers in memory retention. All art assets and instruction materials contained within the application follow OSHA specifications.

This application was built as part of the research of James L. Jenkins in collaboration with the Envision Center, Purdue University.  The project was funded by the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, grant number SH-31215-SH7, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.

This entire application is open source and all files are available to download and use in other projects. Anyone can also download the entire project and use their own VR headsets to go through the training modules at their leisure. Listed below is a detailed description of the equipment and programs required to run the application, as well as how to download and launch the project directly from the source files.


Required Equipment and Programs to Run Fall Safety VR Training Simulator:

  • VR Headset
    • Compatible Headsets: HTC Vive, Vive Pro, or Steam Index
  • A computer or laptop that is capable of running a VR Headset
    • If you are unsure of whether your computer or laptop is powerful enough, check your specifications with the recommended specifications of the available VR Headset, or try a test run with a pre-built application on the VR Headset to see if the program functions
  • Install Steam VR
    • This will require the application Steam to be installed, after which a prompt will appear to install Steam VR once a VR headset is plugged into the computer
  • The entire project files of Fall Safety VR on PURR
    • Use the “Download Bundle” button to download a .zip folder of the project


How to Download and Run Fall Safety VR Training Simulator:

  • Use the “Download Bundle” button to download a .zip folder of the project; this will require at least 3 GB of free space
  • Once the file is downloaded, extract all contents to a desired location on your machine
  • Open the extracted folder and double click the “ReleaseBuild.exe” file to run Fall Safety VR
    • NOTE: Be sure your VR Headset is already plugged in and turned on, and Steam VR is loaded BEFORE launching the application. If the headset or controllers are not being detected in the application, close and re-open once the entire headset is synced with Steam VR


There are six modules within Fall Safety VR Training Simulator. The contents and topics that are covered throughout each module are as follows:

  • Module 01 covers the basics of fall protection, including the standard equipment used when working at high heights, the definition of a Competent Person, and various railings and scaffoldings to cover exposed edges and reduce fall chance
  • Module 02 discusses proper harness and lanyard inspection to avoid using damaged or defective equipment, which can fail in the event of a fall
  • Module 03 covers the “ABCD’s of Fall Protection,” which involve the proper usage of equipment when working on an active construction site and the steps and measures taken when predicting potential falls
  • Module 04 details the proper usage of ladders, including how to choose the proper type of ladder, how to properly place ladders, and how to check for damaged or defective ladders
  • Module 05 details the proper usage of scaffolding, including how to prevent collapses from overloading or instability, adequate protection from falls when using scaffolding, and protection from falling debris and tools and potential electrocution
  • Module 06 covers protection on a low-sloped roof, specifically involving commercial construction sites


There are three additional modules that cover standard OSHA regulations and standalone scenarios:

  • Introduction is the official OSHA disclaimers and information regarding the Grant that funded the project
  • Jobsite Tour is a passive experience that takes the user through various points of the environment, where they are free to look around the observe without needing to listen to or follow instruction
  • Fall Scenario is a “highly-interactive” module that puts the user in the event of a fall. The user is tasked with choosing the correct equipment from a series of options that will protect a fellow worker from falling off a tall building, thereby saving his life. Once the user has chosen all the necessary equipment, the worker falls and the user is told while choices they made were correct. If any of the choices were incorrect, the user is free to run through the module again until they have chosen correctly for each piece of equipment



A full 360 degree video is available here and on YouTube containing the introduction and all 6 modules:


Module 1: Fall safety basics

Module 2: Harness & Lanyards

Module 3: ABCDs of Fall protection

Module 4: Ladders

Module 5: Scaffolding

Module 6: Roofs

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All source content was created by employees of Purdue Envision Center.

Art assets and User Interface designs were developed using Autodesk Maya 2016, ZBrush 4R8, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Substance Painter 2017, and Substance Designer 2017.

The application was developed using the Unity Engine, version 2017.2.0, and utilizes the HTC Vive and SteamVR.

This publication is available for download as is; no future updates or patches will be developed.

The Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) is a university core research facility provided by the Purdue University Libraries, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP).