Mining Publication: Computerized Accident Reconstruction and Training for Metal/Non-Metal Mines
A NIOSH study on occupational deaths between 1980 and 1989 indicated that the mining industry has the highest average annual fatality rate (31.9 per 100,000 workers). Mining is also the highest risk industry in 23 states, and accounts for the largest number of occupational deaths in three states.' Researchers believe that the use of enhanced computer visualization and multimedia training tools will help to reduce these injury and fatality numbers. Accordingly, researchers at the Spokane Research Laboratory (SRL) are developing computer programs that will be used to educate mine workers on the hazards of mining, as well as train miners in evacuation routes and evacuation procedures.
Computer-based training tools offer several distinct advantages over more conventional training tools. Computer-based tools provide a three-dimensional immersive environment that allows the trainee to experience mining hazards and view mine accidents without actually being exposed to mine hazards. This "time-on-task" will help reinforce the learning acquired during more conventional classroom instruction. In addition, the inherent flexibility of this type of tool allows the training material to be tailored to meet the requirements of individual mines.