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Safety issues and the use of software-controlled equipment in the mining industry.

Sammarco-JJ; Kohler-JL; Novak-T; Morley-LA
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 1997. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1997 Oct; :61
Software-controlled equipments are increasingly employed in mining, because of its ability to effectively solve complex industrial control problems. For mining, the human element is almost always involved and, therefore, safety is critical. Software control is relatively new to mining, and this industry can benefit from lessons learned from applications in other industries. These include guidelines, methods, and processes for safety-critical software and systems. Accordingly, the National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) has initiated a project to address processor-controlled equipment safety. A systems-level approach has been taken. A panel from industry, academia, and other agencies has provided project input. Software development and human-machine interaction were identified as the leading concerns of the panel. Additionally, extramural activity was established with The Pennsylvania State University and The University of Alabama to survey and analyze mining equipment and processes. These researchers met with manufacturers, the Mine Health and Safety Administration (MSHA), and mine operators. Their findings and recommendations are given in the paper, and include issues involving hardware, training, human factors, documentation, software, and compatibility. More than 200 standards and guidelines have been reviewed for applicability to mining, and an identified select list is presented. A framework for system and software safety guidelines has been investigated for mining applications, and this information is used to conclude the paper.
Mining-industry; Mining-equipment; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Automation; Robotics; Computer-software
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division