CROSH Obtains $1.2 Million in Virtual Reality Funding
The Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) has obtained over $1.2 million in investments for 2 research projects. The investment includes $550,000 for CROSH to purchase and develop a mobile laboratory that’s going to be a 32-foot custom built trailer which will enable research for safety and occupational health.
In a recent press release, the Centre said, “The mobile lab – or M-CROSH – and its portable equipment will bring researchers to communities and workers who are typically excluded from occupational research. M-CROSH and its portable equipment will enable field research in numerous areas, including musculo-skeletal disorders, mobile equipment ergonomics, vibration, air quality, fatigue management and mental health.”
Leo Gerard, the International President of the United Steelworkers, said, “With this mobile lab, workers across the North will be able to contribute directly to important research in occupational health and safety.
This innovative approach brings the research facility right to the workers, in their communities and on their job sites, and gives them the opportunity to play an active role in improving workplaces.”
CROSH obtained about $200,000 to build their workplace simulator which is going to enable the researchers to mimic the environment and conditions of most Northern Ontario workplaces. The simulator is called W-SIM and utilizes a robotic motion platform to mimic vibration and temperature including humidity as well as a virtual reality eye tracker to mimic where the worker is located. The press release also said, “Both the workplace simulator and the mobile laboratory are unique pieces of infrastructure believed to be the first of their kind anywhere in Canada.”
Dr. Tammy Eger, CROSH’s Research chair, said, “These new tools will truly solidify our position in the forefront of research in occupational safety and health. With these investments, along with the funds dedicated to supporting and expanding our research capacity, will will be able to address critical issues in health and safety in Ontario workplaces.”
The investment CROSH received is $500,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Labour for M-CROSH and then $492,000 in research based grant funding. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is funding $143,000 for W-SIM (the simulator) and the Goodman School of Mines is funding $50,000 for M-CROSH and $50,000 for W-SIM.