Mining Publication: Shock Reduction for Low-Coal Shuttle Car Operators Using Viscoelastic Seating Foam
The prolonged exposure of equipment operators to shock and whole-body vibration (WBV) is linked to cumulative back, neck, and abdominal disorders. In low-coal mines, space restrictions make seat suspensions difficult to use in isolating operators from shock and WBV. Researchers at NIOSH, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, are responding to these issues by investigating viscoelastic foams. For the full-load case, an ergonomic seat with viscoelastic foams isolated the shuttle car operator from shock at 15Hz. Researchers used results from additional foam testing with an analytical model to identify viscoelastic foams that provide shock isolation at a frequency below 5Hz.