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Fresnel lens blind area viewers for improved mine equipment safety and productivity.
Combining contract and in-house research, the Bureau of Mines has developed and in-mine tested a novel device to improve the field-of-view of operators of off-highway mining equipment. This device utilizes a downward-looking, flat fresnel lens. The lens, plus louvers to reduce glare, is housed in a protective steel structure. The complete unit is called a blind area viewer. The viewer, when mounted on the right-front corner of the deck of most large haulage trucks, will increase a driver's direct field-of-view from about 35 pct (of where he/she has to drive) to about 80 pct. The improved visibility allows the driver to see possible collision hazards and roadway obstacles better, thus improving mine safety and increasing productivity. Economic analysis shows that the blind area viewers, which are now commercially available, pay for themselves in about a month on a 170-ton-capacity truck. The viewers are also applicable to other large mining equipment, such as front-end loaders, draglines, and downhole drills, or any place where seeing around a corner would be advantageous, such as along conveyor flights in processing plants during startups.
Mining-industry; Mining-equipment; Field-of-vision; Drivers; Visual-fields
IH; Information Circular
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division