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Visible progress: lighting research to improve miner safety.

Sammarco J
Health Saf Int 2013 Apr; (48):79-83
Illumination is essential to both safety and to the ability of miners to perform their work. This is easy to understand given that 80% of perception is visual. Open flames were used from the earliest days of mining. Carbide lamps were developed in the 19th century. During the early 1900s, electric lighting was introduced into underground mines in the US. Safety was the driver for these changes given the pervasive occurrences of explosions caused by mine gas ignition. Today, light emitting diode (LED) technology is poised to revolutionise mine illumination. R&D LEDs are achieving up to 276 lm/W in comparison to about 15 lm/W for an incandescent (INC) bulb. Improving the safety of miners through better illumination continues to be our goal. Our approach was twofold: use scientific methods for designing and conducting human subject tests that enabled quantification of the effects of improved illumination; secondly, develop lighting that could improve a miner's visual performance for hazard detection as compared to commercially available lighting for the mining industry. The cap lamp test results indicated significant improvements for detecting STF hazards and moving machinery hazards when using the NIOSH LED cap lamp. The results of the machine-mounted lighting testing indicated significant improvements for detecting hazards when using the VWS and LED area lighting. Illumination is essential to mine safety, and it can affect a variety of safety areas as evidenced by the diversity of our research. Much has been learned and much advancement in mine illumination has been realised; however, there remain many opportunities to improve safety
Lighting-systems; Lighting; Light-emission; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Mine-workers; Miners; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Humans; Men; Visual-aids; Hazards
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Health and Safety International
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division