Of the 28 accident/injury classifications listed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, handling materials is second only to roof falls in terms of generating the highest number of reportable accidents in active underground coal mines. Two materials-handling activities that cause numerous injuries each year are the categories of “handling supplies or material, load and unload” and “moving power cables.” Mechanization and mineworker activity training are two methods that can aid in preventing these injuries. This paper describes three mechanical methods — the mobile manipulator, the in-mine hoist and a cablehandling system — that are being developed and tested at the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Two of the devices are specifically designed for loading, unloading and moving supplies and materials, and the third device is designed for handling trailing cables in the confined spaces of coal mines. Also described are safety solutions developed for underground coal mines geared towards showing miners safe and unsafe ways of performing various materialshandling tasks.1
1The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.