A Qualitative Evaluation of the Role of Virtual Reality as a Safety Training Tool for the Mining Industry

  • Shiva Pedram
  • Pascal Perez
  • Stephen Palmisano
  • Matthew Farrelly
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10711)


Interactive virtual reality (VR) is the most recent technology used to train workers for extreme event scenarios. VR training occurs in a safe and controlled environment and has the added benefit that it allows replicable testing of such scenarios. Like any other training method, VR based training must be evaluated. This study investigated the extent to which virtual training environment is able to address the training needs of the mining industry and overcome onsite (real world) training constraints. The present study was conducted with Coal Services Pty Ltd, a pioneering training provider for the coal mining industry in NSW, Australia. The research focused on specific training programs developed for the mine rescue brigades. These brigade teams are made up of highly specialized miner volunteers who provide the primary response to major incidents. The research framework examined the adequacy of training needs, technological capabilities and the implementation of interactive simulation. The research outcomes provide evidence-based information on the advantages and limitations of VR-based training for mining rescue brigades.


Virtual reality Training Mining Competency Safety 


  1. Bakken, B., Gould, J., Kim, D.: Experimentation in learning organizations: a management flight simulator approach. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 59, 167–182 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell, P.C.: Visual interactive modelling: the past, the present, and the prospects. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 54, 274–286 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bliss, J.P., Tidwell, P.D., Guest, M.A.: The effectiveness of virtual reality for administering spatial navigation training to firefighters. Presence 6, 73–86 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burdea, G., Coiffet, P.: Virtual reality technology. Presence Teleoper. Virtual Environ. 12, 663–664 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deaton, J.E., Barba, C., Santarelli, T., Rosenzweig, L., Souders, V., Mccollum, C., Seip, J., Knerr, B.W., Singer, M.J.: Virtual environment cultural training for operational readiness (VECTOR). Virtual Reality 8, 156–167 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Filigenzi, M.T., Orr, T.J., Ruff, T.M.: Virtual reality for mine safety training. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 15, 465–469 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fox, J., Arena, D., Bailenson, J.N.: Virtual reality. J. Media Psychol. Theor. Methods Appl 21, 95–113 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Furlong, T.J., Vance, J.M., Larochelle, P.M.: Spherical mechanism synthesis in virtual reality. Trans. Am. Soc. Mech. Eng. J. Mech. Des. 121, 515–520 (1999)Google Scholar
  9. Gordon, S.E.: Systematic training program design: maximizing effectiveness and minimizing liability. PTR Prentice Hall (1994)Google Scholar
  10. Jou, M., Wang, J.: Investigation of effects of virtual reality environments on learning performance of technical skills. Comput. Hum. Behav. 29, 433–438 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McKillip, J.: Need analysis: tools for the human services and education. Sage Newbury Park, CA (1987)Google Scholar
  12. Moreno, R., Mayer, R.: Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 19, 309–326 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moreno, R., Mayer, R.E.: Learning science in virtual reality multimedia environments: role of methods and media. J. Educ. Psychol. 94, 598–610 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Newton, D., Hase, S., Ellis, A.: Effective implementation of online learning: a case study of the Queensland mining industry. J. Workplace Learn. 14, 156–165 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Orlansky, J., String, J.: Cost-Effectiveness of Flight Simulators for Military Training. Volume 1. Use and Effectiveness of Flight Simulators. DTIC Document (1977)Google Scholar
  16. Pithers, R.T.: Improving Learning Through Effective Training (1998)Google Scholar
  17. Rai, S., Wong, K.: The use of interactive simulations to affect driving behaviour. 51–57 (2010)Google Scholar
  18. Rickel, J., Johnson, W.L.: STEVE (video session): a pedagogical agent for virtual reality. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Autonomous Agents, pp. 332–333. ACM (1998)Google Scholar
  19. Rieber, L.P.: Seriously considering play: designing interactive learning environments based on the blending of microworlds, simulations, and games. Educ. Technol. Res. Dev. 44, 43–58 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rizzo, A., Kim, G.J.: A SWOT analysis of the field of virtual reality rehabilitation and therapy. Presence Teleoper. Virtual Environ. 14, 119–146 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Salzman, M.C., Dede, C., Loftin, R.B., Chen, J.: A model for understanding how virtual reality aids complex conceptual learning. Presence Teleoper. Virtual Environ. 8, 293–316 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmitt, P.J., Agarwal, N., Prestigiacomo, C.J.: From planes to brains: parallels between military development of virtual reality environments and virtual neurological surgery. World Neurosurg. 78, 214–219 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tichon, J., Burgess-Limerick, R.: A review of virtual reality as a medium for safety related training in the minerals industry (2009)Google Scholar
  24. Van Wyk, E., De Villiers, R.: Virtual reality training applications for the mining industry. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality, Visualisation and Interaction in Africa, pp. 53–63. ACM (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiva Pedram
    • 1
  • Pascal Perez
    • 1
  • Stephen Palmisano
    • 2
  • Matthew Farrelly
    • 3
  1. 1.SMART Infrastructure FacilityUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Mines RescueWoononaAustralia

Personalised recommendations