Mining Topic: Education and Training
What is the health and safety problem?
Mine safety and health professionals have long recognized training as a critical element of an effective safety and health program. Federal regulations require mine operators to provide initial safety and health training to all new mine workers, as well as a minimum of eight hours of refresher training each year. Specialty training is required for certain jobs, such as electricians, and for specific situations, such as working at a new task. Emergency preparedness and response training is also required. Thus, there is a strong and steady demand for new and improved training materials and methods.
How is OMSHR addressing the problem?
OMSHR designs and conducts research studies to develop, evaluate, or improve upon materials and methods being used within the mining industry to train mine workers. The researchers work directly with safety and health professionals throughout the mining industry to assess training needs, develop targeted training techniques, and test new technologies. Once materials are developed, they are evaluated during mine safety and health classes, and trainees provide direct feedback on what materials and methods should be brought to the mining classroom.
What are the significant findings?
NIOSH has a long history of providing tested mine safety and health training materials. These have been used in mines through the country and the world. Some have focused on specific topics, such as the needs of aging workforce (Age Awareness Training), and others on new methods/technologies, such as the computer-based Underground Coal Mine Map Reading Training. Materials for improving teaching skills have also been addressed. For example, Coaching Skills for On-the-Job Trainers is being used to provide workshops for mine workers who teach other mine workers at their worksites.
NIOSH’s mine safety and health training research has explored materials, methods, techniques, and technologies. Resulting publications, presentations, and training materials are contributing to improved training throughout the mining industry.
What are the next steps?
Using NIOSH’s Mine Rescue and Escape Training Laboratory, researchers are testing training methods using 3D stereoscopic images, immersive environments, and handheld mobile devices. OMSHR is also developing training modules for mine evacuation knowledge and skills, mine rescue team responses, and command center leaders. This work will result in guidance for managers and trainers as they determine when and how to incorporate new training technologies and methods into their emergency response training programs.
Noteworthy Publications & Products
- A Review of NIOSH and U.S. Bureau of Mines Research to Improve Miners' Health and Safety Training (2012-08)
This paper describes how miners' safety and health training has improved since the beginning of the program in the late 1970's after the Federal Mine Safety legislation was passed, and identifies areas where further improvements are needed.
- Development of a Gas Monitor Simulator and Mine Rescue Contest Field Trials (2012-08)
NIOSH researchers completed field trials during coal mine rescue contests using simulated gas detectors in place of placards, and demonstrated that the newly developed GMS device may be used with no adverse impact on team contest performance.
- Guidelines for the Development of a New Miner Training Curriculum (2013-03)
This report is intended to help mine safety trainers better prepare to teach new underground coal miners. It identifies 2 different approaches to instruction, i.e. using a syllabus or using a curriculum, and discusses their pros and cons.
- Principles of Adult Learning: Tips for Trainers (2013-05)
A guide to applying NIOSH research on the most effective teaching methods for different age groups.
- Strategies for Improving Miners' Training (2010-12)
This NIOSH Information Circular presents basic principles for teaching adults and provides examples of how these principles can be used to develop and implement effective training for miners.
- Technology News 535 - NIOSH Releases New Educational Video: Escape from Farmington No. 9: An Oral History (2009-08)
Researchers with NIOSH have developed a training module to educate both new, inexperienced miners as well as veterans on important issues related to self-rescue and escape procedures.
- Technology News 537 - NIOSH Develops New Mine Refuge Chamber Training (2011-05)
NIOSH has been performing research to provide effective training on refuge chambers for underground coal miners.
- Training Evaluation Tips (2013-04)
Tips on the evaluation of training within work settings to assist you in learning more about your organization.
- Working in the Classroom - A Vision of Miner Training in the 21st Century (2012-08)
This article discusses how narrative-based training has evolved and is likely to continue changing in the future using the Underground Coal Mine Map Reading Training (UCMMRT) developed by NIOSH.