Collaborative ergonomics field research: an assessment of risk factors at four mines.
Steiner LJ; Bauer ER; Cook AH; Cornelius KM; Gallagher S; Rethi LL; Rossi EW; Turin FC; Wiehagen WJ
Min Eng 2004 Feb; 56(2):41-48
Musculoskeletal injuries have long been a problem in the mining industry. Identification of risk factors associated with these injuries is valuable information for recognizing and eliminating these injuries. In the summer of 1998, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health began the research project "Ergonomics Interventions in Mining. The first part of the project was to examine musculoskeletal disorder risk factors in four mining commodities. Risk factor exposure assessments were conducted at four types of mines: underground coal, underground limestone, surface copper, and surface phosphate. This paper discusses the mine selection process, injury and illness data collection methods, job prioritization, risk factors, and strategies to reduce risk. The tools and methods used to assess work tasks were found to be effective for identifying risk factors and determining worker perceptions of their significance. These tools are simple and can be used by mine workers and management to help determine and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Mining-industry; Ergonomics; Underground-mining; Coal-mining; Stone-mines; Surface-mining; Metal-mining; Injuries; Back-injuries
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236