Mining Contract: Automation Experience with a Global Perspective - An Assessment of the Automation Impact on Worker Safety and Health

Keywords: Automation
Contract # 75D30120C09628
Start Date 9/1/2020
Research Concept

The objective of the research team is to determine and describe the "Global Experience with Automation" for the purposes of identifying the gaps in the body of knowledge related to safety health impacts of the automation transition and to inform future prioritized and targeted research in mining in the coming 5 years. Through a literature review, an incident data collection effort, a series of site visits, several world-wide case studies, and collation of best practices and lessons learned; we will develop and then disseminate a better understanding of the state of the mining industry related to protecting the safety and health of their workers who engage with technology and autonomous systems as these systems are being rapidly deployed, used and maintained. The ultimate objective is to inform future decision-making around protecting the health and safety of workers as they deploy, use and maintain the subject technology, autonomous systems and automatically controlled equipment.

Contract Status & Impact

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The research team will conduct a literature review and a data search to determine the injury and illness profiles as well as other incident profiles (e.g., collisions, rollovers) in the mining industry related to automated systems and the transition to an increasingly autonomous state. Cooperation will be requested from mining companies that are already in the process of implementing an automation transition plan to understand what they are doing, what their plans are, what they have learned and what the impact on the workforce has been. Insights will also be sought from equipment manufacturers. Other industries such as nuclear, oil and gas, specialty chemical and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, will be reviewed to assess their automation status.  Then these data will undergo analysis and a report of recommendations to the prioritize the research gaps in the health and safety literature and determine best practices, standards, and guidelines in use in the mining industry. This report will be developed to determine the "Global Experience with Automation" in the mining industry.

Page last reviewed: 6/23/2021 Page last updated: 6/23/2021