Create FREE account or log in

to receive MINING.COM digests


Education Spotlight: Safety and operational efficiency

Bruce Rabe in the field. Image from Vista Training.

Vista Training CEO and Edumine course designer Bruce Rabe learned very early in life how vital safety measures are to operating industrial machinery.

Growing up on a farm in west central Illinois, Rabe had a close call that could have cost him three fingers, but didn’t.

Rabe saw many workplace accidents, and ultimately lost an uncle in a farm incident which could have been prevented if proper steps to safety had been observed, he remembers.

“Growing up on the farm I recognized that proper training keeps people from making decisions that are not healthy for them,” Rabe said.

“Our aim is to provide training for people working in the industry to get home safely every day.”

Edumine features 24 of Vista’s equipment operation courses, all paramount to learning how to effectively operate equipment to extract ore at an open pit strip mining operation.

Vista developed TruckLogic, an integrated curriculum that combines CBTs with PC-based simulation and structured on-the- job training and coaching exercises. This blended curriculum was the first of its kind in the mining industry, and received an award for blended learning demonstrating process for developing training.

“We showed that we increased production and reduced incidents in half,” Rabe said.

 Vista Training started originally to develop e-learning products for companies operating in the oilsands, and then grew to global provider.

Each of the 24 Vista Training authored Edumine courses cover a topic on how to train an operator to safely operate a piece of equipment, such as a bulldozer or wheelloader.

Here’s a sneak peak of the overarching syllabus:

MDC: What are some benefits of Vista safety training?

Rabe: The impression by some is that safety training is a cost to the organization – and it should never be. Safety comes with productivity and both are beneficial to the organization and actually are cost reduction measures, because you don’t have an employee who is in the hospital and a torn-up machine.

Reduced maintenance expense is another benefit we can measure. It’s amazing how people think an operator knows how to start up and shut down a machine without maintenance concerns about wear and tear on a machine. Our products teach these things.

The operator is being trained to operate the equipment in times when they may not have been exposed to a large piece of equipment before. [Such as] how to do a walk around to make sure it’s safe.

MDC: What can Vista’s model teach that can’t be learned in-house?  

Rabe: Typically companies that are training people take a mentorship approach. In that approach there are a few issues that develop – one is that the trainee is only as good as the trainer. Good and bad habits get transferred.

The adult learner in the seat who may be a new operator of equipment never sees the big picture – but instead gets only the minute details of what the lever, or steering wheel does.

In best practices it’s been proven that you need to see the big picture so they can understand the world they are in and how dangerous it is, and how important their role is.  

Most of our clients don’t have this information – adult learners, it’s been found through empirical evidence, need to know why they are learning this material.

MDC: What can learners expect from Edumine’s Vista Training courses?

Rabe: Our approach is to implement structured training. All 24 courses are uniform in approach with five lessons. First is an introduction to the course, the objectives. Second is getting to know your piece of equipment and how it applies in the workplace – giving the big picture. 

Third is pre and post use inspection, safety motivated. Then we get into the technique of operating the equipment and then we go into operating task for a specific type of machine – the most effective best practices.

The end game is moving learners from where they come in to where they become a competent operator. There are lots of benefits – some of them are very difficult to measure.

How do you measure productivity when you have a different environment everyday? How do you measure safety? How do you measure the accident that never happened?

Learn more about Vista’s courses on Edumine here.