Mining Publication: Visual feedback system to reduce errors while operating roof bolting machines
Problem: Operators of roof bolting machines in underground coal mines do so in confined spaces and in very close proximity to the moving equipment. Errors in the operation of these machines can have serious consequences, and the design of the equipment interface has a critical role in reducing the probability of such errors. Methods: An experiment was conducted to explore coding and directional compatibility on actual roof bolting equipment and to determine the feasibility of a visual feedback system to alert operators of critical movements and to also alert other workers in close proximity to the equipment to the pending movement of the machine. The quantitative results of the study confirmed the potential for both selection errors and direction errors to be made, particularly during training. Results: Subjective data confirmed a potential benefit of providing visual feedback of the intended operations and movements of the equipment. Impact: This research may influence the design of these and other similar control systems to provide evidence for the use of warning systems to improve operator situational awareness.