Plant Maintenance and Video Training
Posted: 10/03/2011 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
With an ageing workforce, high staff turnovers and younger workers entering the mining industry, companies are struggling to effectively retain and train new staff. This is especially applicable to plant and mine site maintenance where much of current training is done on paper with manuals and tutorials.
Michael Pope, Planner Co-ordinator at Queensland Alumina Limited, has a new approach: integrate videos and computer-based materials into maintenance training.
“Videos are the medium of the younger people. If you take someone in the 60s, they would’ve read a lot. If you take someone in their 20s, it’s YouTube and social networks. That’s a big difference.”
“If you were to give them [younger workers] written material, they’ll give a courtesy glance. But if you give them videos, they’ll watch it because it’s more their medium. And as they watch it, they start to be more engaged with the whole concept of what they need to do, what the terms and references are etc. It demystifies the equipment. Suddenly it’s not as scary when you’ve seen it on video where someone has walked you through it,” said Pope.
Whilst the introduction of videos and computer-based training at QAL was specifically catered to the new and younger workforce, it also helped managers get a better understanding of maintenance operations and the way current maintenance staff worked.
“In the actual making of the video… we actually identified that they [maintenance staff] weren’t doing some of the stuff they were supposed to be doing [as per written manuals],” said Pope.
However, this has worked both ways: feedback from maintenance staff revealed that there were tips and tricks that weren’t documented in the manuals.
“For example, some guys had specially-made tools for themselves whilst other guys had little tricks, like using a screw driver this way or another,” said Pope.
He said that by transforming the medium from written manuals to video tutorials, it helped improved maintenance procedures, both in terms of efficiency and safety. However, he believes videos are not an end-all solution, but a way to integrate a medium into the training process.
However, Pope admits that for many mining companies, there can be particular preconceptions and challenges. He said that managers may think video training is difficult to execute and that many don’t want their operations filmed for legal reasons.
Pope believe that there is plenty of room to grow in terms of video training for plant and mine maintenance and says for certain operations, this form of learning can be invaluable.
“The ability to bring someone on site, show them a video procedure of what they’re doing, demystify that piece of equipment so it’s not so scary, understand the terminology and then show them via video what - and how - they’re going to do, as well as the environment they’re going to do it in; means that when they get their technical manuals, it will make everything more relevant very quickly.”
Michael Pope is a speaker at the Plant Maintenance in Mining event in Decemeber 2011. For more information about this event, please visit the event website, www.MiningMaintenance.com.au, call 02 9229 1000 or email email@example.com
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