Vest wearability, lighting needs part of proposed mining study
"Findings from these studies will be used to obtain the type and flow of information miners need to safely perform their jobs as well as test some possible interventions to improve situational awareness in this dynamic environment," said the proposal from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The agency is seeking approval to assess and evaluate human systems integration needs in underground mining.
The proposal to the Office of Management and Budget requests approval for the three-year project. The researchers are looking for the information that is critical for a miner to safely perform his job, the processes necessary to do this, and how the miner and the machine interact.
The project would include five research questionnaires, including vest usability testing. After wearing the vests for one month, the participating underground coal miners would be asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire.
The additional four study areas include:
- The general preference questionnaire would determine how and when miners prefer to have information communicated while they are working -- information such as their work environment, their location, and the location of others and equipment. This would be administered to 75 miners.
- The subject matter expert questionnaire would seek similar information from 50 miners who qualify as either continuous miner operators or fire bosses.
- The safety director questionnaire would determine what machinery and equipment is currently being used within the underground coal mining environment. It would be administered to up to 50 safety directors.
- The roof bolter questionnaire is designed to assess the functional lighting needs and problems around roof bolting machines and the usability of a lighting feedback system for specific controls. About 30 roof bolter operators would complete the roof bolter questionnaire to determine the usability and effectiveness of a lighting warning system during the operation of the roof bolting machine.
By Nancy Grover
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 12, 2013
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