A review of virtual reality as a medium for safety related training in mining
A common problem for high risk industries such as mining is how to provide effective safety related training. Virtual reality simulation offers the opportunity to develop perceptual expertise, perceptuo-motor skills, and cognitive skills such as problem-solving, and decision-making under stress, without exposing trainees or others to unacceptable risks. This review examines the evidence for the effectiveness of virtual reality as a medium for safety related training in mining.
Evidence exists to demonstrate the effectiveness of virtual reality as a medium for safety related training in a range of other industries (e.g. training perceptuo-motor skills of pilots, surgeons, and drivers of a range of vehicles; maintenance inspection tasks; spatial awareness for specific locations; and improved decision making under stress).
However, no satisfactory systematic evaluation of performance changes, or transfer of learning, has been undertaken in mining contexts, with almost all previous evaluations restricted to usability of the simulation and subjective trainee responses. Where performance changes as a consequence of training have been assessed, the evaluations have utilised poor evaluation designs, and very small numbers of trainees. A large scale, systematic, evaluation of the outcomes of safety related training via virtual mining environments is required to inform future practice.
Source : Tichon J, Burgess-Limerick R. J. health saf. res. pract. 2011; 3(1): 33-40. http://burgess-limerick.com/download/a54.pdf