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Virtual reality improves mining operations

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Chloe Kirby, Blue Label Labs, outlines how virtual reality (VR) is improving mining operations in a huge way.

Virtual reality improves mining operations

If you work in mining, then you know the associated risks that come with the job. For those who do not work in the industry, most of us at least have somewhat of an idea of the dangers that come with roles in the profession. The good news: things are getting safer each and every year.

It has been long understood that training plays a significant role in decreasing on-site injuries and disasters. When things do happen that pose a risk to workers and job sites, proper training provides employees with a skillset that allows them to respond swiftly. The tricky part is that training is only a simulation of the sort of instances where these risks occur. New technologies, however, are offering the most in-depth look at how to make these training scenarios match real-world events more closely.

Creating a virtual space for realistic training programs is changing mining operations and improving concerns like safety and efficiency. Companies like Spatial utilise VR to model training exercises in a virtual reality to make them more realistic for trainees.1 These programs are also easy to revisit regularly for long-time staff. Let us explore more about why VR is improving mining in a huge way.

How can VR improve mining and other industries?

With just a laptop and basic VR peripherals, training in the mining industry can be completely transformed for the better. Many of the most hazardous mining dangers are less about the instance where something goes wrong and more about how employees respond to the moment of crisis.2 The mining training programs created for VR are growing increasingly realistic and specific depending on specific industry requirements and guidelines.

With the latest technology and cooperation from safety standard organisations, VR is the closest thing mining professionals can get to experiencing many of the challenges that can occur on the job site. It is a handy way to make sure they are getting all the experience they need to handle whatever comes their way. There is no denying that mining industries provide far more safety guidelines than they did even a decade ago. That said, risks are still present and VR can help to increase awareness of best practices related to the industry.

Perks of training in VR for mining operations

One thing that helps make VR training programs a compelling investment for the mining industry is the numerous benefits that come with infusing the technology with the training process. For starters, training in VR can often lead to better results in terms of comprehension. Because the environment is more realistic than simulated walkthroughs of dangerous incidents, employees learn more and they learn it in an effective way.

Speaking of employees, VR training success measurements have a lot to do with how employees perceive the training process.3 Things like how employees think the training prepared them and the relevance of training exercises tend to be higher within a VR environment.

VR can also help to bring the training experience to the job site itself rather than a remote location. If your mining operation is run remotely, then this can also help to get hands-on training to employees who might not spend as much time on-site. All of the variables that go into an employee’s experience working in the mining industry can be better managed thanks to VR.

Take full advantage of VR training to improve mining operations

There is nothing more impactful to a mining company than whether or not its employees are ready to handle everything that might occur on the job. Training is an extensive part of preparing employees for the task at hand, but old methods fail to make the impact VR spaces can offer.

Investing in VR training programs for mining industry safety standards and disaster training is the best move to make in 2021. With the help of safety standards organisations, these programs are the closest thing to hands-on experience with the difficulties and intricacies of the mining industry. Employees also feel more engaged with VR environments than traditional training programs.

When it comes to safety, no mining operation can guarantee things will always go as expected. Prepare for everything that might come at you with VR spaces for mining operations training and you will be grateful that your employees know what to do when the unexpected arrives.

References:

  1. Spatial, https://spatial.io/
  2. ‘ANALYZING THE 10 DEADLIEST MINING HAZARDS’, Graphic Products, [Accessed 25/6/2021], https://www.graphicproducts.com/articles/analyzing-the-10-deadliest-mining-hazards/
  3. BECK, D., ‘Key Measurements to Determine VR Training Success’, LinkedIn, (26 March 2020), https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/key-measurements-determine-vr-training-success-dave-beck/

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/25062021/virtual-reality-improves-mining-operations/

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