QUEENSLAND mining companies will be able to let their workers experience what it is like to work in an underground mine after the launch of a state-of-the-art 3D virtual reality mine training centre.

The centre, at the Safety in Mines Testing and Research Centre in Redbank, will enable mine workers to experience all the sights, sound and challenges of working both underground and in an open-cut mine.

The virtual reality training centre uses 3D replicas of working Queensland mines and allows workers to navigate a host of situations they may experience underground with a heavy focus on safety, training and education.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said yesterday the training facility would further improve safety in the resources sector.

"The resources sector employs thousands of Queenslanders and we expect there to be many thousands more as projects get under way," he said.

"In the past, many trainees would begin employment without ever having experienced these conditions, but now they can do so in a safe and controlled environment.

"The immersive virtual reality technology used in this centre will take miners into an underground mine environment, allowing them to experience simulated emergency situations and identify the most appropriate responses to keep themselves and fellow workers safe."

Mr Cripps said the safety of all mine workers across the state was of the utmost importance to the government.

"Training this way will help reduce the potential for critical mistakes to occur in the actual workplace," he said.

"This level of detail will allow trainees to safely respond to situations - including time and event pressure which is not possible in real life."



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