Coal Age

JAN-FEB 2017

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January-February 2017 www.coalage.com 35 health & safety continued (Vaughan, 1993). Because the onset of black lung is uncertain and not symptomatic im- mediately, miners may perceive a lower risk, making exposure information appear to be less critical. Unfortunately, black lung has made a resurgence in recent years. In 2012, the prevalence of coal workers' pneumoco- niosis in central Appalachia reached 3.23% (five-year average), up from 0.08% 15 years ago (Blackley et al., 2014). Therefore, it is more vital than ever that miners fully un- derstand the importance of dust exposure information and how it can help reduce risk. As CPDM use increases across the in- dustry — largely as a result of the new rule on lowering mine worker exposure (MSHA, 2014), — the availability of dust exposure information should also increase. Previous research has shown that CPDM usage can lead to miners making changes to reduce their dust exposure (Peters et al., 2007). Other research highlights the importance of communication strategies to facilitate the understanding and adoption of these be- havioral changes (Haas and Cecala, 2015). Additional work in communication about using CPDM dust data is ongoing (Haas et al., 2016), but more work is needed to eval- uate the effectiveness of the technology and training to ensure that workers understand how to use it. Similarly, equipment location informa- tion can seem distracting and unimportant (e.g., why would a shuttle car operator need to know where the scoop is if he is a few crosscuts away?), but could be equally as critical for miners to have. Equipment location information from a tracking sys- tem can function as a "first barrier" to pro- actively identifying potentially hazardous situations or situations that have led to an accident in the past, such as a scoop breaking down on the shuttle car route. This is something out of the ordinary that the shuttle car operator may not be ex- pecting that could result in a collision. The operator may not care where every piece of equipment is all the time, but needs to be aware when equipment poses a risk. Equipment location information can also function as a "last barrier" as part of a more complex proximity detection system (Teiz- er et al., 2010). Overall, long-range location information beyond immediate proximity is commonplace in collision avoidance systems in the aviation, automotive, and construction industries, and would be of benefit in mining as well ( Jansson and Gus- tafsson, 2008; Teizer et al., 2010; Ruff, 2007). Equipment location is a critical piece of in- formation that continues to grow in com- plexity with intelligent control and sensor fusion (DuCarme et al., 2015). More work needs to be done to fully assess the effec- tiveness and design of proximity detection systems to ensure that the necessary infor- mation is being incorporated and is avail- able to miners when they need it. It is also important to understand that both human and equipment location in- formation are necessary to maintain ad- equate situational awareness and reduce the risks associated with working around heavy machinery. The context of where both people and equipment are located dictates what can be done to avoid a col- lision. Therefore, how the technology is integrated is also important. Preliminary investigation into proximity detection in- tegration suggests the need for organiza- tional interventions (Haas and Rost, 2015). As the technology matures, improved communication and training should also be developed to help ensure that miners The best aeration system on the market, guaranteed! » No moving parts – high uptime » Made of indestructible HDPE plastic » Can be built to any size flow » Least expensive, most cost efficient » Cut costs by 40 – 80% ACID MINE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM MAELSTROM OXIDIZER ™ 40 – 80 % SAVE ON CHEMICAL COSTS CONTACT US for a no cost, no obligation water bench test www.somersetenvironmental.com 724-591-8481

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