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The work zone analysis system: a tool for quantifying worker interaction with mobile equipment in dangerous work zones.

Schiffbauer-WH; Mowrey-GL
Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Jun; :117
Worker injuries and fatalities in industrial work zones are a major concern to the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH). Highway workers (SIC 1611) are at great risk from both passing motorists and construction vehicles. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) database has identified a high number of mine workers killed or disabled as a result of working near heavy equipment. Surface drilling operations have been investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine how many workers have lost or have had their hearing impaired by working close to drill rigs. Dust exposure in industrial work environments has also been heavily investigated by OSHA and MSHA. Addressing each of these areas, NIOSH has developed a research tool, collectively called a Work Zone Analysis System (WZAS), which can greatly enhance data collection and analysis of workers around vehicles and mobile equipment. The basic components of the WZAS include: differential mode GPS receivers, wired and wireless video links (ground and airborne), machine vision processors, proximity determination devices, computers, and data analysis tools. The WZAS is housed in a mobile trailer that has self-contained power, a 58-ft telescoping mast with a remote-controlled video camera, a satellite Internet dish, weather monitoring, and numerous other features. This information will help identify which remedial actions could benefit worker safety. Expected outcome variables include: incidence of workers on foot (WOFs) within vehicle blind spots, amount of time a WOF is in a blind spot or within a specified distance of a vehicle, number of WOFs in proximity to operating vehicles, amount of time a vehicle backs up per hour of operation, process operational efficiency, intervention feasibility, areas of exposures to high noise levels, and areas of exposure to high dust levels. This paper describes all system components and their associated functions.
Hearing-loss; Dust-exposure; Mine-workers; Work-zone-analysis-system; Mobile-equipment; Construction-equipment; Mining-equipment; Motor-vehicles; Construction-workers
NIOSH, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
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Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
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Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia