Introduction Previous literature specific to simulator training in the mining industry has mostly been conducted by mining or simulator companies themselves, focusing solely on improvements to efficiency or procedures. There is a lack of evidence for how novice and experienced users perform on objective measures of workload including response times or eye movements. Eye fixations are found to be a useful measure of expertise and confidence along with an indicator of arousal or mental workload. The objective of this study is to determine differences in fixations between novice and expert load-haul-dump (LHD) operators, when completing training in a simulator.
Methods Novice operators completing a four-day training program on an LHD simulator performed the same training run as an experienced operator. Tobii Pro Glasses 2 was used to collect eye movement data during first and last training runs. Particular emphasis was placed on manoeuvring and tramming, two work activities linked to fatal interactions with pedestrians. Scanning patterns of novice operators will be compared to expert using Tobii Pro Lab software.
Results The projected results are that there will be noticeable changes in novice operators scanning pattern between their first and last training run, and will begin to resemble the expert operator’s eye behaviour over the period of training. Preliminary results demonstrate that the scanning patterns of the novice are more diverse and less focal than the expert.
Conclusion Operating heavy machinery within dynamic environments of mines can be quite hazardous due to limited line of sight and confined spaces. Simulator training can minimise risk to operators and equipment, by allowing operators to gain skills in a controlled environment. These results will allow training facilities to recognise expert eye movement patterns and provide cues to novice users to rapidly improve their learning and ultimately lead to the prevention of accidents.
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