Mining Publication: Effect of Operator Position on the Incidence of Continuous Mining Machine/Worker Collisions
Remote operation of continuous miners has enhanced the health and safety of underground miners in many respects; however, numerous fatal and non-fatal continuous miner struck-by accidents have occurred when using remote controls. In an effort to prevent these injuries, NIOSH researchers at Pittsburgh Research Laboratory examined the workplace relationships between continuous miner operators and various tramming modes of the equipment using motion captured data, predicted operator response times, and field-of-view data to determine causes of operator-machine struck-by events in a virtual mine environment. Factors studied included machine speed, direction of escape, operator facing orientation relative to the machine, work posture, distance from machine, and operator anthropometry. Close proximity to the machine, high machine tramming speeds, a right-facing orientation and operator positioning near the tail all resulted in high risk of being struck. It is hoped that this data will provide an improved rationale for operator positioning for remotely operated continuous miners.