Comparing estimated low back loads from control interventions for underground coal mine roof bolter operators.
Proceedings of the KOMTECH Sixth International Scientific and Technical Conference, Zakopane, Poland, November 14-17, 2005. Zakopane, Poland: KOMAG Mining Mechanization Center, 2005 Nov; :1-11
NIOSH researchers conducted a study to evaluate control interventions that reduce the severity of muscle recruitment and spine loads resulting from roof bolting in different work postures and mine seam heights. Researchers developed databases of predicted forces on the L4/L5 spinal joint and 10 trunk muscles by processing captured motions from test subjects using Jack modeling and simulation software. The databases represent test subjects during a bolting cycle when (1) the materials handled (drill steel, wrench, and roof bolt) were on the tray and were their original weights (MO), (2) the materials handled were on the tray and were half their original weights (MH), and (3) the materials handled were relocated in anticipation of reducing the predicted low back stress experienced by an operator (MR). Results of this study indicate that all work postures and seam heights tested benefit from weight reduction of materials handled and benefit extremely well in decreased response force from relocating the materials handled. Comparing MO to MH and MR, the percentage of compression and shear force reduction for MH ranges from 0% to -16% and MR ranges from -24% to -73%. Also, the percentage of trunk muscle force reduction for MH ranges from 0% to -42% and MR ranges from -28% to -73%. The mining industry can use this information to reduce loads on the low back through better work postures from redesigning the machine's workstation and modifying bolting cycle work procedures.
Back-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Mining-industry; Safety-research; Mining-equipment; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Coal-miners; Coal-mining; Muscles; Posture; Simulation-methods; Computer-models; Computer-software; Equipment-design; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Proceedings of the KOMTECH Sixth International Scientific and Technical Conference, Zakopane, Poland, November 14-17, 2005