Mining Publication: Impact of Maintainability Design on Injury Rates and Maintenance Costs for Underground Mining Equipment
In the U.S. underground coal mining industry, maintenance of the mining equipment accounts for over 30% of the lost-time injuries. In addition, the steadily increasing cost of maintaining this equipment has focused attention on the need to find ways to contain or reduce these expenses. To obtain a better understanding of why maintenance injuries occur, the U.S. Bureau of Mines has conducted a research project to analyze the design of underground mining equipment with respect to ease of maintenance and maintainer safety. The objective was to identify design factors contributing to these high injury rates and maintenance costs. The work included a review of relevant maintainability design literature, analysis of maintenance-related accident data, field reviews of equipment design in underground operating environments, and interviews with mine maintenance personnel and equipment manufacturers. Based on the findings, a set of maintainability design recommendations have been prepared and published. The documents include basic maintainability engineering information for equipment designers, as well as a buyers' guide to assist purchasers of mining machinery in evaluating the maintainability of equipment.