August 2019
Volume 71    Issue 8

If the technology fits: an evaluation of mobile proximity detection systems in underground coal mines

Swanson, LaTasha R.; Bellanca, Jennica L.


Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration,

Proximity detection systems (PDSs) for mobile machines have the potential to decrease injuries and fatalities. Early adopters of the technology identified some challenges, which presents an opportunity to explore and improve the integration of mobile PDSs in underground coal mines. This research study applied the task-technology fit framework to investigate the fit between mobile PDS technology and mining relative to health and safety from the perspective of leaders at two coal mines. Quantitative results from the study show that mine leaders evaluated mobile PDSs favorably for training and ease of use, system feedback, user authorization and experience, and less favorably for safety, compatibility, task completion and reliability. Qualitative results reveal specific task, mine and system characteristics that may have influenced the leaders’ evaluations. The study includes considerations and suggestions for safe technology integration.


Follow these easy steps if you are an SME member:
  • Go to . Sign in with your email address and password.
  • Hover your mouse over “Publications and Resources” in the top banner. Click on “Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (MME) Journal” in the pull-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Read the MME Journal Online” button, which will take you to the Springer site as an SME member who is eligible for free access. (To see published papers on the Springer site, click on “Browse Volumes & Issues” in the blue banner.)
If you are not an SME member, go to for paid access. Or join SME at