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Determination of safe roof bolter speeds through computer simulation.

Authors
Bartels-JR; Ambrose-DH; Kwitowski-AJ
Source
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :81
NIOSHTIC No.
20023711
Abstract
This paper is based on results of a study that determined the impact of roof bolting machine appendage speed on the likelihood of operators being hit, such as colliding with moving appendages. Researchers at the NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory performed this study to reduce workers' risks from exposure to moving appendages on underground mining machinery. Accident investigation reports do not usually contain enough information to aid in studying this problem, and laboratory experiments with human subjects are also not feasible because of safety issues. As an alternative, researchers developed a computer-based three-dimensional model and simulation approach as the primary means to gather data on mishaps. The computer simulation was augmented by a laboratory validation. Significant findings are presented on operator-machine hits as related to boom speed, operator size, seam height, operator response time, and risky behaviors. Collisions versus speed, operators' posture, and seam height were the most significant factors in the data obtained from the model. Relative importance of each factor was determined by prioritizing the factors by significance using statistical analysis. By simulating an operator's random behavior and the machine's appendage velocity, researchers can accurately identify hazards and use that information to form safe design parameters for mining equipment. Computer modeling and simulations provided an alternative and safe approach to data gathering in that there was no need for human subjects and logistics--test sites and costs associated with experiments. The use of this type of methodology--computer model and simulation--shows potential to conduct safety studies of other human-machine interaction situations.
Keywords
Simulation-methods; Underground-mining; Mining-equipment; Computer-models; Hazards; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention
Contact
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
20031028
Document Type
Abstract
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
NIOSH Division
PRL
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
State
PA
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