Visual feedback system to reduce errors while operating roof bolting machines.
Steiner-LJ; Burgess-Limerick-R; Eiter-B; Porter-W; Matty-T
J Saf Res 2013 Feb; 44(Special Issue):37-44
Operators of roof bolting machines in underground coal mines do so in confined spaces, and in very close proximity to the moving equipment. Errors in the operation of these machines can have serious consequences, and the design of the equipment interface has a critical role in reducing the probability of such errors. Shape coding or length controls may reduce selection errors, and ensuring directional control-response compatibility may reduce direction errors. These issues have previously been examined using a virtual analogy of roof bolting. Another potential control measure is to provide advance visual feedback to the operator regarding the response selected, before the response is activated, with the aim of improving the rate of learning, and the speed with which error correction can occur. An experiment was conducted to explore coding and directional compatibility on actual roof bolting equipment, and to determine the feasibility of a visual feedback system to alert operators of critical movements and to also alert other workers in close proximity to the equipment to the pending movement of the machine. The quantitative results of the study confirmed the potential for both selection errors and direction errors to be made, particularly during training. Subjective data confirmed a potential benefit of providing visual feedback of the intended operations and movements of the equipment. Applications beyond mining can extend to any control design where feedback is critical to the health and safety of the operator and there is a need to improve situational awareness.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Mining-equipment; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Equipment-operators; Equipment-design;
Author Keywords: Mining; Control compatibility; Equipment design; Situational awareness; Visual feedback system
Issue of Publication
Journal of Safety Research