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E-learning can improve mine safety

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The mining industry invests an enormous amount of time and money on recruiting and training employees each year, which often means that employees have to spend extended periods away from their workplace. E-learning solutions are however becoming more popular. They help learners to retain the information and are also proving to be extremely cost-effective.

Training employees can be a challenge within any industry, but it remains a vital component of a successful organisation, and the more engaging the subject matter, the more likely you are to see dramatic results from your employees. In the mining industry particularly, this equates to improved health, safety and production statistics.

Mine workers spend most of their day in an extremely dangerous environment and, according to PWC, work-related injuries could easily lead to a halt in production, which can jeopardise the company’s licence to operate. The mining industry employs a large number of unskilled workers, who need to go through rigorous training before being allowed to work at their post.

On-going legislation and compliance training is costing the mining sector billions of Rand annually. In an industry with a widely geographically distributed workforce, with varying education and literacy levels, maintaining training of a consistently high level is a vast logistical and economic challenge. E-learning solutions are becoming more popular within the mining industry, not only because it helps learners to retain the information, but it has also proved to be extremely cost-effective.

‚”It’s often mine workers with the lowest levels of literacy who assume the most dangerous jobs on mines.‚” says education specialist Godfrey Madanhire. ‚”These workers, who are the least likely to understand and absorb the training, are the most in need of the kind of compliance training that will improve their safety on the job‚”.

E-learning has the incredible ability to overcome major challenges by using a combination of visual and auditory components to deliver the learning message, rather than just written words on a page. Designers are used to graphically present concepts which replace paragraphs of difficult text and animators create moving images to guide the learner visually and dynamically through concepts or to virtually display how something works and moves.

According to Kirsty Chadwick, Founder & Chair of e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online, e-learning has the ability to improve efficiency and literacy, and in turn, improve the quality of life for workers across Africa. ‚”If e-learning is correctly utilised within the mining sector, time spent away from the job can be significantly reduced and specific areas can be focused on, based on the needs of the individual employees,‚” says Chadwick.

E-learning is an incredible tool that we have at our disposal and the benefits of using it as a training method within any organisation, particularly within the mining industry, are incomparable. Let’s have a look at a few of the benefits that e-learning brings to the mining industry:

•tIt overcomes language barriers

•tThe message is consistent

•tIt can be easily updated

•tIt is visually entertaining, thereby ensuring higher retention levels

•tThe learner is able to work at their own pace

•tThe learner has the flexibility to fit training in around work

•tIt can be built into the learner management system for company statistical purposes

In the time in which we live, technology is the motivating force that drives workplace training. Training and developing people is about putting the right tools in the right hands, and delivering courseware in a way that will help learners absorb and understand it best. E-learning has the potential to solve many of the problems that face learning today, and with the right approach and a solid support structure, safety training within the mining industry can be consistent and highly effective for everyone.

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