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Mining Program Area: MSD Prevention


The purpose of the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program area is to reduce the incidence and severity of work-related MSDs in the mining population. This is done through the application of ergonomics to improve work place design and work practices. Surveillance research is used to determine where potential health and safety risks lie. MSDs always account for a large percentage of injuries, with significant sprains and strains reported in the mining industry due to the labor-intensive nature of the work.

When reducing work-related injuries, it is essential to understand the exposures associated with work tasks. MSD prevention research focuses on risk identification, exposure assessment, and the development of mitigation strategies. The primary research questions include: What hazards are present in the workplace? How do these hazards affect the worker? Can these hazards be removed? Are there methods or design alternatives for reducing these hazards? How effective was the strategy at reducing the hazard?


Our approach is unique because we target specific mining-related tasks. Although injury patterns in mining are similar to other industries, mining has a unique set of risks and regulations that require more tailored methodologies. Through consistent contact with the mining industry, OMSHR is able to reach its target audience more effectively.

The MSD prevention program’s contracts have generally been small and are intended to assist OMSHR researchers. Through its contract work, OMSHR is working to develop a prototype kneepad and computerized ergonomics audits.

Projects & Contracts

TitlePIsStart DateDescription
Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazard Identification, Investigation, and Remediation at Surface Mining FacilitiesMahiyar Nasarwanji1/1/2015A project to utilize a multifaceted approach to investigate slips, trips, and falls (STF) by developing tools to identify, report, and remediate STF hazards in the workplace, providing recommendations for footwear based on empirical evidence.
TitlePIsStart DateDescription
Development and Evaluation of Prototype Kneepads for the Low-Seam Mining IndustryJonisha P. Pollard10/1/2009A project to reduce the likelihood of knee injuries in low-seam coal miners through a systematic approach that includes the development of guidelines for improved personal protective equipment and interventions.
Reducing Machine Guarding-Related Injuries in MiningJonisha Pollard4/1/2014A pilot project to assess the types of injuries mine workers sustain when handling machine covers and guards and to determine the focus of future machine cover and guard redesign efforts.
Slip, Trip and Fall Hazard Identification and Remediation In Surface Mining FacilitiesMahiyar Nasarwanji4/1/2014A pilot project to complete a preliminary characterization of slip and fall risk factors at surface mine facilities to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a taxonomy of risk factors and to inform the development of a more detailed study.
TitleContractorContract/IAG #Start DateDescription
Engineered Solutions - Dump Truck Vibrations and Impact on Operator Safety in High-Impact Shovel Loading OperationsMissouri University of Science and Technology200-2011-408179/1/2011A contract to reduce or eliminate the impact of root mean square (RMS) accelerations due to vibrations on large dump truck operators during high-impact shovel loading operations. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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