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Mining Project: Development and Evaluation of Prototype Kneepads for the Low-Seam Mining Industry

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Principal Investigator
  • Jonisha P. Pollard, NIOSH OMSHR, 412-386-5220
Start Date10/1/2009
End Date9/30/2013

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.

Topic Area

Research Summary

Nearly all of the approximately 6,000 low-seam coal miners experience knee pain from their work at some point in their working life. For some the pain leads to knee injuries, with low-seam mine workers having a tenfold increase in knee injuries over higher-seam mine workers. This high incidence of knee injuries has persisted for decades despite work done to develop better personal protective equipment.

The objectives of this study were to reduce the risk of knee injury in low-seam coal miners by developing guidelines to improve personal protective equipment and other interventions such as job rotation strategies, work method changes, and equipment design changes. The project used a combined experimental and computational approach resulting in quantitative data to support the development of the guidelines. Results of this study were disseminated through ICs, journal articles, and conference presentations (both mining and ergonomics).