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Preliminary recommendations for handling and lifting materials in underground low-coal mines.

Gallagher S; Bobick TG; Unger RL
Proc Human Factors Soc 1987; :921-925
The Bureau of Mines has developed preliminary guidelines for handling materials in low-seam coal mines in an effort to reduce the incidence and cost of low-back pain in these mines. Three main approaches to reducing back injuries are discussed: (1) examining the supply-handling systems currently in use at low-seam coal mines through task analysis, (2) research and development of task-specific materials-handling hardware that would reduce the number of manual lifts in underground coal mines, and (3) examining the lifting capacity of low-seam coal miners in the restricted postures that must be used in underground mines. Results of the task analysis indicated that the predominant posture used to handle materials underground was kneeling on two knees followed by stooped, kneeling on one knee, and other. Mechanical-assist devices developed by the Bureau include a rail-timber handling car that efffectively eliminates the need for manual lifting of heavy wooden crossbeams or sections of steel rail for roof support, and a heavy component lift- transport to assist with such jobs as installing drive motors on shuttle cars or replacing wheels on underground vehicles. Significant findings include that the kneeling mawl is lower than mawl in the stooped posture (p<0.05), While heart rate is higher during kneeling tests (p<0.01). Preliminary acceptable weights of lift based on psychophysical testing are 43.5 Lb in the kneeling posture and 54.0 Lb in the stooped posture for materials that are handled in a repetitive manner.
Publication Date
Document Type
OP; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 118-87
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division