Training for New Underground Rock Bolters Using Virtual Reality


The stability of underground excavations depends greatly on rock bolting techniques and the expertise of rock bolters using best practices. Rock bolting is one of the most dangerous mining jobs. In the period 2000 to March 2004, the fall or slide of material was the second highest cause of fatalities in underground coal mines, and the fourth highest cause in metal and nonmetal mines. These accidents could often have been avoided or the number reduced if best roof/rock bolting practices were followed. The injuries to the miners associated with rock bolting are not just caused by ground falls and slides, but often they occur because of inexperience in handling drilling and bolting equipment. These causes coupled with a rapid influx of new miners are the main reasons that call for better training techniques and programs for underground roof/rock bolters. With the rapid increase of new miners there will be little time for an adequate interface period with the retiring experienced miners. This paper describes an evolving training program which is based on virtual reality. With this training tool, new miners will be able to acquire knowledge and virtual experience through training on handling bolting equipment and best bolting practices, before actually heading into the mine. The training program, which is currently being developed at the University of Missouri-Rolla, focuses initially on development of a virtual reality simulator for training miners to install rock bolts using a jackleg drill.

Meeting Name

14th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection, MPES 2005 and the 5th International Conference on Computer Applications in the Minerals Industries, CAMI 2005


Mining Engineering

Second Department

Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

Rock Bolt; Rock Bolting; Training; Underground; Virtual Reality

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005

This document is currently not available here.