Plan for better training outcomes in your mine
November 20, 2016 | Best Practices
In most mines, inadequate training tends to be invisible, until it is revealed in operational challenges. For haul truck operators, it can manifest itself in problems such as excessive tire wear and damage, overspeeding on grade, service brake abuse and driving too fast during poor weather conditions.
How do mines deal with these operational challenges? They send a field trainer out to talk to the operator and try to modify his or her behavior. This approach may work, depending upon the mindset of the operators you're coaching, but it's not very efficient. It's reactive, not proactive.
A better way
Why not modify your training methods to produce better outcomes from the start?
For example, if overuse of service brakes is a problem, perhaps your haul truck operator training needs to spend more time explaining when and how to properly use them versus dynamic braking, as well as the dangers of abusing them. That can be handled in a computer-based training program or in your instructor-led training, or it can be incorporated into your field training exercises.
The important point is that these types of problems frequently aren't ad hoc events that we must reactively deal with, one at a time. Often, they are symptoms of a larger issue: A failure of your training materials to provide all of the information the trainee needs to know - and doing so in a memorable way.
Keep in mind, too, that some of the operational challenges you're facing my not have anything to do with the haul truck operator. Some of these issues may be related to supervision, dispatch or other factors.
Lay the right foundation
We all know that behaviors are devilishly hard things to change, once they're embedded into a worker's mind. He or she may take your advice and change his or her behavior for a period of time, but then lapse back into old, familiar, inefficient ways. Or perhaps he or she may just give lip service to this training intervention, but never really commit to the change.
It's a bit like trying to build a house on an uneven foundation. No matter how good the quality of your materials and no matter how talented the construction workers are, if the foundation isn't right, the building will never be right.
You need to lay the right foundation.
Make sure your operator training addresses all of your equipment-related operational challenges. Your mine manager, dispatcher and field trainers will thank you!
Interested? Look into: Online Training for Heavy Equipment or Onsite Training for Construction & Mining Equipment
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