June 2019
Volume 71    Issue 6

Mineworkers’ perceptions of mobile proximity detection systems

Bellanca, Jennica L.; Swanson, LaTasha R.; Helton, Justin; McNinch, Michael

ABSTRACT:

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-018-0045-3

As manufacturers and mine operators develop and implement proximity detection systems (PDSs), they need to be mindful of the systems’ compatibility with mineworkers’ tasks, and possible unintended consequences. Researchers at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) interviewed mineworkers at mine sites that currently use or previously have used PDSs on mobile equipment, including shuttle cars, battery haulers and scoops. Mineworkers reported that mobile PDSs affect loading, tramming, section setup, maintenance and general work on the section. Mineworkers discussed the operational effects and increased burden, exposure and risk. Mineworkers also suggested that improved system task compatibility, training, logistics and PDS performance might help address these issues. Manufacturers and mine operators implementing this or similar technologies may also consider mitigating task incompatibilities up front, performing additional site-specific usability testing and restricting the use cases of the system to improve performance.

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