Proficiency based progression simulation training significantly reduces utility strikes: A prospective, randomized and blinded study

Anthony Gallagher, Martin Hart, David Cleary, Craig Hamilton, Kevin McGlinchey, Patrick Kiely, B Bunting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objectives: We evaluated a simulation-based training curriculum with quantitatively defined performance benchmarks for utility workers location and excavation of utility services.
Background: Damaging buried utilities is associated with considerable safety risks to workers and substantial cost to employers.
Methods: In a prospective, randomized and blinded study we assessed the impact of Proficiency Based Progression (PBP) simulation training on the location and excavation of utility services work.
Results: PBP simulation training reduced performance errors (33%, p = 0.006) in comparison a standard trained group. When implemented across all workers in the same division there was a 35-61% reduction in utility strikes (p = 0.028) and an estimated cost saving of £116,000 – £2,175,000 in the 12 months (47,000 work hours) studied.
Conclusions: The magnitude of the training benefit of PBP simulation training in the utilities sector appears to be the same as it is in surgery, cardiology and procedure-based medicine.
Application: Quality-assured utility worker simulation training significantly reduces utility damage and associated costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0231979
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020

Keywords

  • simulation
  • proficiency based progression
  • quality assured training
  • objective assessment

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