Best practice in the mining industry includes extensive initial and professional training for staff involved in field operations. Whereas changes in mining technology and operations accelerate to improve productivity, health, and safety standards have to be continuously evaluated and improved, putting more pressure on training deliveries. Borrowing from Defence and Airspace industries,
training in the mining industry is increasingly relying on immersive virtual reality to simulate complex operations and procedures in potentially dangerous environments. Coal Services Pty Ltd is at the forefront of modern training facilities in Australia. This paper presents a qualitative and quantitative research framework designed to analyse the impact of past and current training sessions on staff’s ability to better perform their tasks, overall safety standards, and mine productivity. Interviews with trainees, trainers, and managers are used alongside session recordings to qualitatively evaluate levels of knowledge transfer and aptitudes to perform in a real environment.
Then, a cost-benefit analysis is used to evaluate the added-value of virtual realitybased on technological and operational costs weighed against overall productivity of the mine being negatively affected by any safety issue.