Enhancement of Steel Industry Safety Training Through Visual Development

Article from the AIST Newsletter June 2014 Issue

Purdue University – Calumet

“Enhancement of Steel Industry Safety Training Through Incident Visualization Development”

John Moreland

This project involves developing an animated 3D visualization of a safety incident to be use for safety training. Two engineering undergraduates at Purdue university calumet, Jingsong Zhang and Songyuan Yang, have been working to create 3D models and animations showing the environment and  events leading up to a safety incident. Nucor Steel-Indiana is serving as mentor for the project.

The principal investigator and students visited Nucor in January and February 2014 to identify a safety incident for the visualization, and to collect images and video to recreate the environment and events leading up to the incident. Requirements needed to identify appropriate incident were as follows:

  • Incident should involve injury (not just near-miss).
  • Incident must have been preventable.
  • The incident description and visualization must be able to be shared outside of the company.
  • There must be sufficient description and reference images and /or video to create 3D models of the environment, and animation of the events leading up to and including the incident. 

The project team discussed potential incidents with Nucor personnel and was able to identify a suitable incident in which a Nucor teammate’s foot was injured. The incident involved a teammate operating a crane to lower a chain into a box for storage. Part of the chain began to fall outside of the box. The teammate approached the box, raised the crane and put a hand on the chain to push it back into the box. Then chain then caught on part of the box, briefly lifting and then dropping the box on his foot. Another teammate was later able to free the foot by raising the box with a forklift.

Nucor was able to provide video of the incident that was captured from a distance. They allowed the project team to take photos at the site of the incident and discuss details of the incident with students. The students have been working to create 3D models of the environment and set up objectives for animation. Next steps will include applying textures to make the 3D model look more photorealistic, animating the incident, and continuing discussion with Nucor personnel to improve the visualization and make it suitable for integration into safety training.