White Light Provides Technical Installation for Immersive Safety Training Program

by Frank Hammel
in International News
The project involves live actors, projections and lighting.
The project involves live actors, projections and lighting.

LONDON – For Active Training Team (ATT), which produced an immersive training program depicting a (thankfully fictional) account of a worker’s death on a construction site for client Tideway, White Light provided a variety of visual technologies including d3 media servers. The idea is to present real workers with the fictional drama of a workplace accident in hopes of preventing actual tragedies in the workplace.

More details from White Light (www.whitelight.co.uk):

Active Training Team (ATT) offers experiential and immersive training programs in order to bring about behavioral change in people and organizations. The company was recently appointed by Tideway to create an immersive, one-day induction experience for all employees working on the Thames Tideway Tunnel - a multibillion-pound super-sewer being constructed beneath the river Thames. Tideway has a very clear aspiration to deliver transformational health and safety performance and to set new standards, and so it recruited ATT to develop the induction day. White Light was called upon to provide and install the complete technical solution for this award-winning and unique project.

The project is called EPIC (Employer Project Induction Centre): A Day in the Death of Michael Clark and sees participants experience a fictional incident on a construction site. Attendees, of which more than 6,000 have already taken part, are taken through a variety of situations, from the incident itself to the aftermath in order to see the full impact of such an event. EPIC is specific to Tideway’s current construction project and ATT worked closely with the company to create the program. Dermot Kerrigan, Director at ATT, comments: “Tideway told us about the project and what they wanted to explore. As a company, we came together and began to storyline various scenarios. These roles are then brought to life by a group of actors who rehearse each scenario to make it appear as realistic as possible”.

ATT’s role was to supply the complete training package to Tideway, which is everything from the story, production, actors, rehearsals, space, stage management and even equipment; which is where WL came in. Adam Christopher, Dermot’s co-Director at ATT, comments: “As we are all from a theatrical background, we were fully aware of WL’s strong reputation in the industry and how this has now expanded into the installations market. We wanted them to come on board and provide us with the exact technical support that could get the most out of the experience”.

After initial talks with WL, Head of Business Development Lee Dennison and Technical Solutions Director Andy Hook visited EPIC’s London space to assess which equipment would be the most suitable. Lee states: “EPIC takes you through a variety of scenarios which take place in different rooms across their venue. Therefore it was vital we offered technical support that was perfectly suited to each one”. This included the main space which features a curved 180-degree custom built projection screen using 8 projectors that transport those in attendance onto the construction site. He adds: “The whole point of the training is to make it as realistic as possible. ATT had worked extremely hard to provide life-like, human content, in terms of both the writing and the actors, and we needed to ensure that the equipment complemented this”.

Having recently been appointed as a d3 Certified Solutions Provider, WL drew on the power of d3 Technologies’ 4x4 pro servers to sit at the heart of the new technical system. The d3 platform allows multiple layers of content to be played and synchronised with multi-channel audio and lighting to create a truly immersive environment. WL used this to turn the 8 projectors and 11 speakers into one giant digital canvas and allow content to be moved around the fully immersive space to suit the scenario. This flexibility also means that the space can be used outside of the training scenarios for immersive presentations and interactive sessions, ensuring maximum usage of the space.

The audio was supplied as dedicated audio pieces played back from the d3 server using Dante DVS into the Yamaha MRX7-D processor which was then distributed out to 11 discreet EM Acoustics loudspeakers hidden within the space. This created a high impact surround sound environment which further enhanced the realism of the scenario.

The focus of EPIC is constantly changing as the Tideway construction project advances into different stages. Adam adds: “As the project moves forward, we have to tailor the content, performances and overall layout to match this. Therefore the equipment has to be adaptable as we constantly change”.

In terms of lighting, WL provided a large data track system which was fitted around the space. This allows for complete flexibility as fixtures can be easily mounted and changed to suit the different scenarios. The main fixtures used were the ETC Irideon FPZs along with the SGM R-2 RGBWs. Both of these are extremely discreet and blend into the surrounding environment. The LED fixtures are also energy efficient and reduce the heat within the space.

Another reason behind using the d3 platform was its offline features. Andy states: “The d3 platform allows for new training scenarios to be designed, workshopped, programmed and technically rehearsed offline and away from this space. This is particularly important as it allows the venue to be in constant use ensuring downtime costs are kept to an absolute minimum”.

Another important aspect of the d3 platform was the Multi Transport feature, which allows users to have multiple timelines running simultaneously. Andy adds: “The Multi Transport feature has been unbelievably useful for this project. As EPIC uses several different areas of the building in which is located, this means that the pre-recorded content can be quickly triggered from a central server to suit activities in all zones.”

The new phase of training started in March this year and over 95% of participants said they would be more confident in challenging poor health and safety practice as a result of the induction. Dermot adds: “The aim of this project was to ensure that those working on Tideway’s construction project received health and safety training that would make an impact and that they could then implement when they were out in the real world. Our feedback has shown that we’ve achieved this with the help of our in-house team, the group of creatives involved and, of course, WL for supplying such excellent equipment”.

Andy adds: “ATT approached us with an idea of what they wanted to achieve and we provided the exact technical solutions to do just this. We were able to develop their initial idea by using the very latest technology to push the boundaries of what they previously thought was possible. EPIC is a great example of us drawing on technology from a range of markets to create an immersive and dynamic environment which gets the most out of the project, both in terms of user experience and the profitability of that space”.