Open Cut

New Knowledge Elicitation Methods to Capture Risks Related to Mobile Mining Equipment

Open Cut » Health and Safety

Published: September 10Project Number: C18025

Get ReportAuthor: Sue Leveritt, Tim Horberry and Tristan Cooke | Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, The University of Queensland

This report describes research that examined two innovative knowledge elicitation techniques to collect information about mobile mining equipment risks and to ultimately help identify potential controls. It focused on both experienced and inexperienced operators. The work was in three parts.

Part 1

The use of the technique called 'Critical Decision Method' to analyse incidents involving mobile mining equipment- especially for experienced operators of such equipment. It was found that this technique was highly effective in uncovering how operators make sense of their working environments. By 'getting inside the heads of operators' it revealed important aspects that were not uncovered in previous incident investigations that used other techniques.

Part 2

The development of a process for informal feedback, specifically verbal interactions, to be used to capture information about risks - especially for inexperienced operators during simulator training. The work focussed on informal feedback regarding mobile mining equipment use as part of a wider work system. As such, issues identified included communication drivers and barriers, equipment design risks, training deficiencies or limitations and types of verbal interactions. The interactions model shows potential as a process for facilitating improved training outcomes, such as operator decision making and situational awareness. It could also be used to identify training needs triggered by equipment reliability data and other operator issues.

Part 3

Ongoing dissemination of the results from Parts 1 and 2 to the Minerals Industry via the EMESRTgate web portal (, to member companies of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) and through teaching materials at the University of Queensland. Project outcomes are also being presented at relevant industry conferences and other forums, and will be published in recognised journals- examples of these are shown in the Appendix.


Overall, the results of the research are a better user-centred understanding of equipment/operator related risks and where improvements could be implemented in incident investigation, communications, equipment design and training. In addition, the knowledge elicitation techniques developed and tested could be suitable for use in other coal mining situations, for example, in risk assessments.




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