Mining Publication: Ergonomics: Beyond Compliance
The health and financial costs of cumulative injuries are plaguing the mining industry. Industry leaders are concentrating on reducing the risk of injury to their workers through design and redesign of work environments. While ergonomics is not a currently regulated field, many mines are realizing that the only way to tackle their most costly injuries, cumulative injuries, is to make the proactive choice to understand those injuries, their root causes and to make workplace changes to prevent them from occurring. Reduction of these injuries not only improves the health and morale of the workers but increases productivity and profit for the companies. Knowledge and reporting of ergonomic risk factors by employees and ergonomics committees is key to these changes and to the reduction of cumulative injuries. NIOSH is developing strong relationships with industry associations and equipment manufacturers to leverage their communication abilities to transfer knowledge to their customers and make a difference in the health and safety of U.S. miners. The benefits of a formalized approach to reducing these injuries along with examples is presented.