New app to spot underground mine risks

A new tablet application that has a virtual version of typical hazards found in an underground mining workplace is being developed and tested at Edith Cowan University.

Called RiskSpotter, the risk awareness training tool will have pictures of an underground mine site and the hazards that come with it, along with training materials to tackle those hazards.

The pictures will be of ‘real life’ work areas and scenarios to which the user can relate.

Chief investigator at the Centre for Innovative Practice at Edith Cowan University Dr Susanne Bahn said the app will be tested on Western Australian hard rock mine sites and aims to make it available for the industry next year.

“It’s trying to use a bit of game technology – you touch the screen where you think there might be a (workplace) problem and make some decisions and then you’re scored along the way,” she said.

“What the mining companies are saying is that they can see that the tablet-game could be played while miners are flying up to the sites because it could be loaded on the tablets on the back of the seats of the plane.

“We’re running it in three underground sites. Three hundred underground miners will test it and then we’ll track the health and safety statistics.”

She added she will be testing users’ scores to track any improvements, the ABC reported.

The app can also help in accident investigation. Accident photographs can be uploaded into RiskSpotter with the hazards controls attached.

This can be used to train workers to perform tasks correctly to avoid the incidents.

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