Republished with permission from Mining Journal - http://www.mining-journal.com
BARMINCO expects its move to simulator operator training to “deliver a significant return on investment” with the first unit already said to be delivering benefits.
The Australian underground mining contractor’s general manager of operations Richard Murrell said machinery operators who had been through the simulator program were easier to train and integrate on site and better able to respond to “real scenarios”.
“We are seeing a reduction in the time required to induct a new operator when they first arrive on site and when faced with a real life situation simulation trained operators recall their training well and respond rapidly to avoid incident,” he said.
Over the past three months Barminco had established a benchmark for the simulated training program and over the coming six months would continuously track the on-the-job performance of employees trained in the simulated environment. Among the improvements to be measured was the time taken for truck operators to become competent, the reduction in operator errors and reductions in unscheduled maintenance.
Barminco took delivery in March this year of an Immersive Technologies transportable UG360 simulator now in use as part of the company’s recruitment and induction program for new truck operators at its headquarters in the Perth suburb of Hazelmere, Western Australia. A simulated mine site environment and Caterpillar articulated truck simulator module allow training facilitators to gauge how new operators respond to realistic scenarios, and operate heavy machinery, and they can customise the programs accordingly.
Barminco says it has the largest company owned fleet of underground mechanised mining equipment in Australia and close to 2000 permanent staff in the country.
“In providing new machinery operators with an opportunity to gain hands-on training in a realistic environment, we expect to see more efficient vehicle usage, increases in productivity and reductions in unscheduled maintenance costs,” the company’s group client and commercial manager David Noort said.
“These improvements will result in a safer working environment for our employees and the ability to deliver increased valued to our clients.”