Skip directly to local search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Mining Publication: Computer Simulations Help Determine Safe Vertical Boom Speeds for Roof Bolting in Underground Coal Mines

Original creation date: October 2005

Image of publication Computer Simulations Help Determine Safe Vertical Boom Speeds for Roof Bolting in Underground Coal Mines

Incident investigation reports do not usually contain enough information to aid in studying boom arm vertical speed for roof bolting machines to determine the impact that appendage speed had on an operator's risk of experiencing a contact. Laboratory experiments with human subjects are also not feasible because of safety and ethical issues. Researchers successfully developed a three-dimensional computer model that uses virtual human simulation software as the primary means to gather contact data when the boom arm touches the operator's hand, arm, head, or leg. Data analysis of roof bolter simulations shows that the speed of the boom arm is the most important factor in determining the risk of an operator making contact. Regardless of other variables, contact incidents were always greater when the bolter arm was moving up, greater on the hand, and greater for the boom arm part of the machine. The reason why the subject experiences more contacts when the boom arm is moving up rather than down is that riskier behaviors occur during drilling and bolting, when the boom arm is ascending. Based on the data collected, boom speeds greater than 13 in/sec result in a substantial increase in risk to the roof bolter operator of making contact. Speeds less than or equal to 13 in/sec are associated with a more modest relative risk of making contact, which represents a decrease in potential hazard. The use of such information can be helpful in making recommendations to machine design and task procedures to reduce the likelihood that roof bolter operators will experience injury due to contact with a moving roof bolting machine's boom arm.

Authors: DH Ambrose, JR Bartels, AJ Kwitowski, S Gallagher, TR Battenhouse

Peer Reviewed Journal ArticleOctober - 2005

  • Adobe Acrobat - Portable Document Format (.PDF)

    1.48 MB

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20028988

J Saf Res 2005 Oct; 36(4):387-397

Contact Us:
  • Office of Mine Safety and Health (OMSHR)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • New Hours of Operation
    8am-8pm ET/Monday-Friday
    Closed Holidays
  • The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #