Mining Publication: Analyzing Factors Influencing Struck-by Accidents of a Moving Mining Machine by Using Motion Capture and DHM Simulations
Remote operation of continuous mining machines 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. In an effort to prevent these injuries, NIOSH researchers at Pittsburgh Research Laboratory studied the workplace relationships between continuous miner operators and various tramming tasks of the equipment using motion capture data, operator response times, and field of view data to evaluate the factors influencing operator-machine struck-by events (contact with a solid object) in a virtual mine environment. It is not feasible (nor ethical) to use human subjects to directly evaluate factors that precipitate such injuries. However, use of motion analysis data and digital human models can facilitate analysis of struck-by accident risk by allowing investigators to manipulate factors that influence injury. Factors included in this study included machine speed, direction of escape, the direction the operator was facing 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.