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Mining Project: Computational Research

Principal Investigator
Start Date10/1/2010

To contribute to improving the health and safety of miners by providing essential information technology development activities for the NIOSH Mining Program.

Research Summary

The NIOSH Mining Program  relies on computer development capability to translate its science and technology in ways that can be readily used by the mining industry and to aid NIOSH researchers in the laboratory. This program requires the development of analysis, educational, and utility software as well as effective website content delivery.

This project has six research aims, as follows:

  1. Develop computer applications to empower stakeholders with tools to solve health and safety problems.
  2. Develop and implement a web content management system (CMS) that enables NIOSH Mining Program researchers to contribute to timely and impactful web content.
  3. Implement evolving CDC web templates in the NIOSH Mining website (including responsive design features) and implement and continually refine the Site Browser faceted navigation tool.
  4. Develop reliable computer applications for NIOSH laboratories.
  5. Create a sustainable process for generating and supporting applications for stakeholders.
  6. Develop and disseminate mobile applications and web content.

Under this project, support is provided for programming tools and expertise needed for computational research across the NIOSH Mining Program. Computational tools and techniques are applied to advance the understanding and mitigation of mining health and safety problems. This is achieved through the initiation of research projects, developing PC- , mobile- , or web-based software for the mining industry or to be used internally by researchers to assist them in conducting their research more efficiently. When distributed to the mining public, this software takes the form of training packages, engineering/design tools, analysis tools, and utilities. Internal programs are developed as part of a project’s research process to solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Major outputs from this project research thus far are a new version of the EVADE (Enhanced Video Analysis of Dust Exposures) software, which allows for a generic and generalized plotting of any type of logged data against a video recording, and ErgoMine, an ergonomics audit tool designed specifically for mining . Both of these outputs reflect the Mining program's stakeholders’ increasing interest in mobile solutions to worker health and safety problems. The NIOSH Mining CMS and website have also been substantially upgraded to comply with the latest version of the CDC web template which, among other benefits, makes the website more accessible from mobile devices.

The impact of this project will be measured by tracking how often software is downloaded from the NIOSH Mining  website and the mobile application stores. Both avenues have a web metric mechanism built in to track this data. Overall traffic to the NIOSH Mining website will also be analyzed to measure the traffic to the redesigned website.