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Mining Project: Computational Research

Principal Investigator
  • Gregory Cole, NIOSH OMSHR, 412-386-6744
Start Date10/1/2010

To contribute to improving the health and safety of miners by providing essential information technology development activities for the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research.

Research Summary

This project has six research aims, as follows:

  1. Develop computer applications to empower stakeholders with tools to solve health and safety problems.
  2. Develop and implement a web content management system (CMS) that enables OMSHR researchers to contribute to timely and impactful web content.
  3. Implement evolving CDC web templates in the OMSHR website (including responsive design features) and implement and continually refine the Site Browser faceted navigation tool.

  4. Develop reliable computer applications for OMSHR laboratories.
  5. Create a sustainable process for generating and supporting applications for stakeholders.
  6. Develop and disseminate mobile applications and web content.

The research program of the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) relies on computer development capability to translate its science and technology in ways that can be readily used by the mining industry and to aid OMHSR researchers in the laboratory. This program requires the development of analysis, educational, and utility software as well as effective website content delivery.

Under this project, support is provided for programming tools and expertise needed for computational research across OMSHR. The Computational Research Team will apply computational tools and techniques to advance the understanding and mitigation of mining health and safety problems. It will do this through the initiation of research projects, developing PC- , mobile- , or web-based software for the mining industry or to be used internally by researchers to assist them in conducting their research more efficiently. When distributed to the mining public, software will take the form of training packages, engineering/design tools, analysis tools, and utilities. Internal programs will generally be developed as part of a project’s research process to solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Major outputs from this project research will be a new version of the EVADE (Enhanced Video Analysis of Dust Exposures) software that allows for a more generic and generalized plotting of any type of logged data against a video recording. The OMSHR CMS and website will be upgraded to comply with the latest version of the CDC web template which, among other benefits, will make the website more accessible from mobile devices. In addition, reflecting OMSHR stakeholders’ increasing interest in mobile solutions, this project will develop OMSHR’s first mobile application, which will be used to conduct ergonomic audits for haul truck maintenance and repair and bagging operations and provide recommendations for improvement.

The impact of this project will be measured by tracking how often software is downloaded from the OMSHR website and the mobile application stores. Both avenues have a web metric mechanism built in to track this data. Overall traffic to the OMSHR website will also be analyzed to measure the traffic to the redesigned website.