Publication Details

Pedram, S., Perez, P. & Palmisano, S. (2014). Evaluating the influence of virtual reality-based training on workers' competencies in the mining industry. In A. G. Bruzzone, F. De Felice, M. Massei, Y. Merkuryev, A. Solis & G. Zacharewicz (Eds.), 13th International Conference on Modeling and Applied Simulation, MAS 2014 (pp. 60-64). Red Hook, New York, United States: Curran.


The Australian mining industry has achieved remarkable performance and safety results through continuous improvement of its training standards. Interactive virtual reality-based training is the most recent technology used to enhance workers' competencies in a safe and controlled environment that allows for replicable testing of extreme event scenarios. Like any other training method, VR-based training needs to be assessed in order to evaluate the advantages and limitations of this innovative technology, compared with more traditional approaches. Our research aims to design and implement an evaluation framework that can be used to assess VR-based training programs developed, amongst other training methods, by Coal Services Pty Ltd, a pioneering training provider for the coal mining industry in Australia. Our research focuses on specific training programs developed for mining rescue brigades. These teams are made up of highly specialized miner volunteers who are in charge of primary response in case of major incident. The evaluation framework aims at identifying adequacy between competency needs, technological capabilities and the implementation of interactive simulation. Research outcomes are meant to provide evidence-based information on the advantages and limitations of VR-based training for mining rescue brigades. The evaluation framework is flexible enough to be applied to other types of training for the mining industry or even to be adapted for use in other industries.