Mining Publication: Ergonomic and Existing Seat Designs Compared on Underground Mine Haulage Vehicles
NIOSH researchers conducted a study to compare seat designs on underground coal mine haulage vehicles. The objective of the study was to support prior findings that NIOSH-designed seats, which incorporated ergonomics design features (e.g., viscoelastic foam padding and low-back support), are improved designs. Based on measured levels of vehicle jarring/jolting and perceived discomfort, researchers evaluated four different designs - two in-use and two NIOSH-developed ergonomic designs. Researchers collected data using a short questionnaire, a linear, visual analog scale, and accelerometers with a data recorder. Results showed that vehicle operators favored the NIOSH seats with added adjustability, low-back support, and improved seat padding over the existing seats. In addition, the measurements indicated that all NIOSH seats performed better than the existing seat under the no-load (worse of two) conditions in reducing peak acceleration, crest factor, and RMS acceleration. The authors summarize the data collected and operator preferences for seat designs and different foam padding arrangements.