Over the years many projects have been conducted at coal mines to analyse and provide recommendations in relation to whole body vibration, access systems, seating, cab design, maintenance, associated manual tasks.
Whole body vibration analysis has involved performing vibration testing underground and during normal operations and then assessing daily dose exposures and comparative exposures between different plant, tasks, seats and the like.
Detailed ergonomic analysis of all relevant human interfaces with mobile plant, including accessing/egressing, operating, maintaining, loading and unloading have been done. Training packages, guidelines, procedures, design reviews and specifications have been prepared.
Coal mines (underground and open cut), washplants, loadouts as well as hard rick and smelting facilities have been assisted by way of long term engagement.
Regardless of automation the human is still the key element in mining in terms of achieving optimal output and efficiency through skill and experience. It is therefore essential that the human interface (ergonomics/human factor) is well designed and based on up to date scientific data as well as solid consultation.