Health and Safety Policy
HEALTH & SAFETY WARNINGS:
TO REDUCE THE RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY, DISCOMFORT OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL USERS OF THE HEADSET READ THE WARNINGS BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THE HEADSET. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMAIN SEATED USING THE HEADSET UNLESS YOUR CONTENT EXPERIENCE REQUIRES STANDING.
Before Using the Headset:
Read and follow all setup and operating instructions provided with the headset. Review the hardware and software recommendations for use of the headset. Risk of discomfort may increase if recommended hardware and software are not used.
Your headset and software are not designed for use with any unauthorized device, accessory and/or software. Use of an unauthorized device, accessory and/or software may result in injury to you or others, may cause performance issues or damage to your system and related services.
To reduce the risk of discomfort, adjust the viewing focus for each user before use of the headset. A comfortable virtual reality experience requires an unimpaired sense of motion and balance. Do not use the headset when you are: Tired; need sleep; under emotional stress or anxiety; or when suffering from cold, flu, headaches, migraines, or earaches, as this can increase your susceptibility to adverse symptoms. We recommend seeing a doctor before using the headset if you are pregnant, elderly, have pre-existing binocular vision abnormalities or other serious medical conditions. To charge the headsets, carefully ensure they are placed within their supplied case, with the USB cable connected to each headset. When the case is connected to the mains using the supplied power cable, the light on each headset should illuminate to show that it is charging. When the headsets are fully charged, we recommend switching the power supply off at the mains.
Adults should make sure children use the headset in accordance with these health and safety warnings including making sure the headset is used as described in the Before Using the Headset section and the Use Only In A Safe Environment section.
Adults should monitor children who are using or have used the headset for any of the symptoms described in these health and safety warnings (including those described under the Discomfort and Repetitive Stress Injury sections), and should limit the time children spend using the headset and ensure they take breaks during use.
Prolonged use should be avoided, as this could negatively impact hand-eye coordination, balance, and multi-tasking ability. Adults should monitor children closely during and after use of the headset for any decrease in these abilities. We recommend that VR is used for no more than 45 minutes in any one lesson. Short VR sessions are very engaging and are the perfect way to open a topic or reinforce a key point. The VR player includes a notification to the teacher when any student has been in VR for longer than this recommended time, which is also the limit recommended for children by optometrists.
Some people (about 1 in 4000) may have severe dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, and this may occur while they are watching TV, playing video games or experiencing virtual reality, even if they have never had a seizure or blackout before or have no history of seizures or epilepsy. Such seizures are more common in children and young people under the age of 20. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should discontinue use of the headset and see a doctor. Anyone who previously has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition should see a doctor before using the headset.
To reduce the risk of injury or discomfort you should always follow these instructions and observe these precautions while using the headset:
Use Only In A Safe Environment:
The headset produces an immersive virtual reality experience that distracts you from and completely blocks your view of your actual surroundings.
Always be aware of your surroundings before beginning use and while using the headset. Use caution to avoid injury and remain seated unless your content experience requires standing.
Use of the headset may cause loss of balance.
Remember that the objects you see in the virtual environment do not exist in the real environment, so don’t sit or stand on them or use them for support.
Serious injuries can occur from tripping, running into or striking walls, furniture or other objects, so clear an area for safe use before using the headset.
Take special care to ensure that you are not near other people, objects, stairs, balconies, open doorways, windows, furniture, open flames, ceiling fans or light fixtures or other items that you can bump into or knock down when using—or immediately after using—the headset.
Remove any tripping hazards from the area before using the headset.
Remember that while using the headset you may be unaware that people may enter your immediate area.
Do not handle sharp or otherwise dangerous objects while using the headset.
Never wear the headset in situations that require attention, such as walking, bicycling, or driving.
Make sure the headset is level and secured comfortably on your head, and that you see a single, clear image.
Make sure any headphone cables if used are not tripping hazards.
Ease into the use of the headset to allow your body to adjust; use for only a few minutes at a time at first, and only increase the amount of time using the headset gradually as you grow accustomed to virtual reality. Looking around when first entering virtual reality can help you adjust to any small differences between your real-world movements and the resulting virtual reality experience.
Do not use the headset while in a moving vehicle such as a car, bus, or train, as this can increase your susceptibility to adverse symptoms.
Take at least a 10 to 15 minute break every 30 minutes, even if you don’t think you need it. Each person is different, so take more frequent and longer breaks if you feel discomfort. You should decide what works best for you.
If using headphones, listening to sound at high volumes can cause irreparable damage to your hearing.
Background noise, as well as continued exposure to high volume levels, can make sounds seem quieter than they actually are. Due to the immersive nature of the virtual reality experience, do not use the headset with the sound at a high volume so that you can maintain awareness of your surroundings and reduce the risk of hearing damage.
Immediately discontinue using the headset if any of the following symptoms are experienced: seizures; loss of awareness; eye strain; eye or muscle twitching; involuntary movements; altered, blurred, or double vision or other visual abnormalities; dizziness; disorientation; impaired balance; impaired hand-eye coordination; excessive sweating; increased salivation; nausea; lightheadedness; discomfort or pain in the head or eyes; drowsiness; fatigue; or any symptoms similar to motion sickness.
Just as with the symptoms people can experience after they disembark a cruise ship, symptoms of virtual reality exposure can persist and become more apparent hours after use. These post-use symptoms can include the symptoms above, as well as excessive drowsiness and decreased ability to multitask. These symptoms may put you at an increased risk of injury when engaging in normal activities in the real world.
Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in other visually or physically demanding activities that have potentially serious consequences (i.e., activities in which experiencing any symptoms could lead to death, personal injury, or damage to property), or other activities that require unimpaired balance and hand-eye coordination (such as playing sports or riding a bicycle, etc.) until you have fully recovered from any symptoms.
Do not use the headset until all symptoms have completely subsided for several hours. Make sure you have properly configured the headset before resuming use.
Be mindful of the type of content that you were using prior to the onset of any symptoms because you may be more prone to symptoms based upon the content being used.
See a doctor if you have serious and/or persistent symptoms.
Repetitive Stress Injury:
Using the device may make your muscles, joints or skin hurt. If any part of your body becomes tired or sore while using the headset or its components, or if you feel symptoms such as tingling, numbness, burning or stiffness, stop and rest for several hours before using it again. If you continue to have any of the above symptoms or other discomfort during or after use, stop use and see a doctor.
To reduce risk of electric shock:
Do not modify or open any of the components provided.
Do not use the product if any cable is damaged or any wires are exposed.
Damaged or Broken Device:
Do not use your device if any part is broken or damaged.
Do not attempt to repair any part of your device yourself.
To avoid transferring contagious conditions like conjunctivitis (pink eye), do not share the headset with persons with contagious conditions, infections or diseases, particularly of the eyes, skin or scalp. The headset should be cleaned between each use with skin-friendly non-alcoholic antibacterial wipes and with a dry microfiber cloth for the lenses.
The headset is worn next to your skin and scalp. Stop using the headset if you notice swelling, itchiness, skin irritation or other skin reactions. If symptoms persist, contact a doctor.
Using VR Safely:
Protecting against contagious viruses
First and foremost, you must make sure that you are following the guidance from the government in your country of residence. As a general rule, keeping a safe distance from your students and asking them to do the same is important, as is washing your hands before and after using the VR headset.
The structure of your VR lessons will not have to change much, but here are our guidelines and an example of how a lesson can be run safely.
Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the VR headsets and cases.
Open the charging case if possible and unplug the headsets from their cradles. If you are using a thirty cart simply unplug the headsets and lay them out on a table or clean surface.
Allow students to collect a headset one at a time. Again, ensure your students have washed their hands thoroughly before they do this.
Once the headsets have been given out you can control the lesson safely using your classroom computer.
During the lesson, ensure students maintain an adequate social distance from one another and remain at their desks.
If a student requires help with their headset, ask them to place it on your desk or a shared space for you to make any corrections required.
Once the lesson has finished, ask students to leave their headset on their desk before they leave the room.
If this is not possible, ask them to place them in a shared space that is off of the floor.
Use an antibacterial wipe to clean the padding, straps and lenses of each headset before returning them to the charging case.
Once you are finished, wash your hands again.
While there can never be a guarantee that any preventative measures will completely protect from the spread of Covid-19, by following the steps above you will be able to use VR in the safest way possible.
Cleaning your VR Headsets:
Wash your hands thoroughly or apply antibacterial gel / hand sanitizer.
Using either an antibacterial wipe or spray, thoroughly clean the plastic surface of the headset, including the eyepieces and the orange front cover. Pay particular attention to the points that students would have touched with their hands, such as the button panels.
Thoroughly wipe down the padding around the eye sockets. This is especially important as it makes contact with the nose and face. If students have touched the case while collecting or removing the headsets, clean this with an antibacterial wipe as well.
Finally, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Repeat this process every time a new group of students uses the headsets.