Safety training: Don't waste your time with ineffective methods
| Written by Geir Nerbø
Safety training is more than just practice: it offers insights on improved processes and regulations. Wearable transponders play a crucial role in gaining such insights during training. They also prove valuable in avoiding, mitigating and warning of hazards in real work scenarios.
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To improve safety and working conditions in mines, advanced mining safety frameworks have been made mandatory. They include preventive measures, regular health checks and the mandatory usage of protective devices, but also regulate the usage of materials and tools, and in addition, the necessary training of miners and mine rescue teams in safety-related matters.
Importantly, training success is not guaranteed. Nine out of ten accidents in mining are triggered by human activities such as operator errors and violations of regulations. Does the question arise how errors and violations can be avoided on the road to zero harm? We have to assume that 100% safety is an ideal that never can be reached but we should strive for it. The military uses the term "drill" to practice what has to be done fast, accurate and semi-conscious under stress. Simply put: there is no time to reflect on a fast-approaching problem. The drill sergeant will exercise and exercise a task as long as it takes to be executed properly and timely.
In complex training scenarios, drill sergeants can't follow every detail of the exercise. Instead, they rely on monitoring data to analyse the performance of a team: video, devices that deliver extended visibility and computed performance indicators. Such devices are wearables like body cams, RFID tags, IR-sensors, heat-cameras, smart glasses, and other body sensual trackers.
Wearables offer recorded data that, when combined, can help to evaluate performance under given (drill) circumstances. Such evaluation is beneficial for the trainee as it helps to learn about potentials for improvement; it is helpful for the safety training advisor as well as it indicates the bottlenecks of processes and missing skills. It adds miner visibility to the safety net.