NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Visual performance for trip hazard detection when using incandescent and led miner cap lamps.

Sammarco JJ; Gallagher S; Reyes M
J Saf Res 2010 Apr; 41(2):85-91
Introduction: Accident data for 2003-2007 indicate that slip, trip, and falls (STFs) are the second leading accident class (17.8%, n=2,441) of lost-time injuries in underground mining. Proper lighting plays a critical role in enabling miners to detect STF hazards in this environment. Often, the only lighting available to the miner is from a cap lamp worn on the miner's helmet. The focus of this research was to determine if the spectral content of light from light-emitting diode (LED) cap lamps enabled visual performance improvements for the detection of tripping hazards as compared to incandescent cap lamps that are traditionally used in underground mining. A secondary objective was to determine the effects of aging on visual performance. Method: The visual performance of 30 subjects was quantified by measuring each subject's speed and accuracy in detecting objects positioned on the floor both in the near field, at 1.83 meters, and far field, at 3.66 meters. Near field objects were positioned at 0 degrees and +/-20 degrees off axis, while far field objects were positioned at 0 degrees and +/-10 degrees off axis. Three age groups were designated: group A consisted of subjects 18 to 25 years old, group B consisted of subjects 40 to 50 years old, and group C consisted of subjects 51 years and older. Results: Results of the visual performance comparison for a commercially available LED, a prototype LED, and an incandescent cap lamp indicate that the location of objects on the floor, the type of cap lamp used, and subject age all had significant influences on the time required to identify potential trip hazards. The LED-based cap lamps enabled detection times that were an average of 0.96 seconds faster compared to the incandescent cap lamp. Use of the LED cap lamps resulted in average detection times that were about 13.6% faster than those recorded for the incandescent cap lamp. The visual performance differences between the commercially available LED and prototype LED cap lamp were not statistically significant. Impact on Industry: It can be inferred from this data that the spectral content from LED-based cap lamps could enable significant visual performance improvements for miners in the detection of trip hazards.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Age-factors; Age-groups; Injuries; Light-emission; Lighting; Lighting-systems; Light-source; Mine-workers; Occupational-hazards; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Underground-mining; Visual-perception; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Trip hazards; Visual performance; Mine safety; Illumination
John J. Sammarco, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: August 19, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division