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‘The Evaluation of Atmospheric Soluble Mist Concentrations on Longwall Faces at Illawarra Coal’

Expected outcomes

The project was envisaged to provide:

  1. A viable and sensitive method to evaluate the levels of atmospheric soluble oils on longwall faces.
  2. Data regarding the levels of exposure of longwall face operators arising from soluble oil entering the general airbody on longwall faces.
  3. Health effects (potential) from exposure to breathing the atmosphere.
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Jen Hines MAIOH, COH - Occupational Hygienist - EHS SOlutions
Start date
Estimated end date
01 July 2008

‘Data Analysis Reporting Framework for CSPL’s Dust Sampling Database’

Conclusion: The Coal Services Occupational Hygiene database is an invaluable resource. To improve the use and quality of reporting back to stakeholders we put forward an alternative standardised report which presents the sampling data in a more user friendly way.

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Maya Guest, Newcastle University
Start date
25 May 2012

Estimated end date
28 October 2014

‘Calibration of Portable Raw Exhaust Diesel Particulate Analysers’

Conclusion: As a result of the research conducted the following outcomes have been achieved:

  • It is possible to use a small diesel generator to produce an exhaust stream that provides varying levels of elemental carbon (EC) at different engine loads with a reasonably even distribution across the exhaust pipe. This then provides a valuable means for the calibration of instrumentation directly to NIOSH method 5040 which is an internationally recognised standard for health assessment.
  • The use of laser light scattering (LLS) instruments with generic factors to convert the measured total particulate matter (TPM) to EC is only valid for the types of engines that they were originally derived. On this basis every new type of engine that enters underground diesel fleets in coal mines should be evaluated to establish if the current factor remains appropriate. If this occurs, direct reading instrumentation (eg LLS) should provide a useful means for the quick measurement of raw exhaust EC. If the industry does not wish to undertake this work then TPM may be a possible metric for the estimation of raw exhaust DP however clarification of the variation in correlation issues raised by Vouitsis, Ntziachristos & Samara (2003) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries report (NSW 2004) will be required before this alternate metric could be used on all engines in current diesel fleets. In either case, checks at appropriate intervals by other potentially slower means would add significantly to the confidence of results obtained by LLS.
  • The sampling of raw exhaust DP using quartz filters for subsequent EC analysis is a viable alternative to current technologies however the process does not lend itself to sampling post a water-filled scrubber tank or for the provision of instant results. It does however provide an excellent audit or checking method for direct reading instrumentation.
  • The Freudenberg sampling system appears to be suitable for the collection of raw exhaust for subsequent EC analysis as a check method for LLS devices provided a number of modifications to the tested prototype recommended to the manufacturer are implemented.
  • The depth that a probe is inserted into the raw exhaust of an engine can have an effect on the concentration of EC measured. This may be a factor in the high level of variability of results experienced by mines when using different testing organisations. For the engine used in this project a probe of 21 cm appears appropriate.
  • No effect on raw exhaust EC concentration caused by temperature was observed when sampling the raw exhaust at approximately 115oC compared to that at 45oC. This is a significant finding as it allows the gas sampling point on the manifold of underground diesel engines used in the coal industry to be the place of choice to collect samples. This should have a major effect on minimising sampling errors provided the exhaust is appropriately cooled and mixed.

The device developed by Emission Reduction Products Engineering Pty Ltd (ERP) to collect a suitable sample from the gas sampling point appears to work, but further evaluation is required over a range of in-service vehicles.

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Brian Davies, University of Wollongong
Start date
22 November 2011

Estimated end date
02 August 2013

‘Revision of Emergency Preparedness and Mines Rescue Manual’

Conclusion: The 2nd Edition of the Mines Rescue, Gas Detection and Emergency Preparedness Manual was released in June 2014.

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Paul Healey, Coal Services Mines Rescue Service
Start date
22 November 2011
Estimated end date

‘Bad Vibrations - Second Edition 2009’ ‘A Handbook on Whole-Body Vibration Exposure in Mining’

Jim Knowles Group - April 2009 (Also available as a Publication)

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Barbara McPhee, Gary Foster, Airdrie Long

‘Keeping Coal miners Healthy at Work’ ‘An Occupational Hygiene Manual for the Coal Industry, Revision 3 - October 2008’

Henderson OH&S Services Pty Ltd - October 2008

Also available on CD ROM

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John Henderson

‘Managing Contractors in the Mining and Extractive Industries’ ‘On-Line Flexible Training for Mine and Quarry Contractor Safety Management’

Jim Knowles Group - September 2007

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Jim Knowles, Graham Terry, John Dugas

‘Gravimetric Dust Sampling a Change to AS2985 and Exposure Standards’

Coal Services - December 2004

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Ryan Pitt, Gary Mace, Sharon Buckley

‘On-Line Learning Research Project for Mine Deputies Certificate of Competency’

NSW Minerals Council - May 2006

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John Hempenstall, Murray Bird, John Dugas, Kristy Fairburn, Kieren Turner

‘Review of the Health Effects associated with Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica in Coal Dust’

Martin Jennings & Associates – October 2004

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Martin Jennings, Martyn Flahive

‘Review of Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Inhalable Coal Dust’

Martin Jennings & Associates - October 2005

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Martin Jennings, Martyn Flahive

‘An Extension of the Diesel Particulate (DP) Exposure Sampling Program to Potential High Exposure Mineworker & Contractor Personnel Involved in Longwall Transfers’

Coal Services - October 2008

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Gary Mace

‘Work Breaks and Rest Periods’

Minerals Industry Safety & Health Centre (MISHC), University of Queensland – January 2005

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Carmel Bofinger, Sharyn Cobbin, David Cliff, Tim Horberry

‘Fatigue Related Crashes on the Way To and From NSW Coal Mines’

ARRB Group Ltd (Formerly ARRB Transport Research Ltd) – April 2005

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Nick Mabbott, Debbie Cornwell, Bob Lloyd, Anna Koszelak

‘Underlying Causes & Incidence of Shift Worker Driver Fatigue in Central Queensland’

School of Management, Central Queensland University – February 2004

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Lee Di Milia, Peter Smith

‘Investigation of Dust Generation & the Effectiveness of Suppression Techniques Used on Longwall BSL and Crushers’

Andrew Rutherford Pty Ltd – November 2003

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Andrew Rutherford

‘To Quantify the Effects of Occupational Health & Hygiene Issues for the Illawarra Coal Underground Operations’

Illawarra Coal, BHP Billiton – February 2004

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Steve McFadden, Brian Davies

‘Developing Risk Management Strategies to Improve Safety & Health in Coal Mines’

Southern Cross Safety - February 2007

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Hayden Cater

‘Practical Ergonomics – A Handbook for Mining Personnel’

Jim Knowles Group – July 2005 (Also available as a Publication)

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Barbara McPhee

‘Coal Industry Safety Culture Measure’

TUNRA Ltd (The University of Newcastle Research Associates) - October 2005

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Peter Pfister

‘Evaluation of Workload Distribution in Underground Mingin and the Development of Strategies to Reduce Overuse Syndrome’

Queensland University of technology - November 2006

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Tony Parker

‘Development, Demonstration & Implementation of a Virtual Reality Simulation Capability for Coal Mining Operations’

The University of New South Wales, School of Mining Engineering - June 2005

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Chris Fowler, Phil Stothard, Jim Galvin

‘Methods for measuring Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) from underground Mining Equipment’

NSW Dept of Primary Industries, Mine Safety Technical Services – November 2004

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Clive Ellis

‘Investigation of Operator Fatigue Through Successive Night Shifts’

ARRB Transport Research Ltd – October 2003

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Nick Mabbott, Bob Lloyd

‘Development of Functional Fitness Measures Related to the Work Practices of underground Coal Miners’

Queensland University if Technology - January 2007

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Tony Parker

‘Ergonomic Assessment of Access and Egress for Mobile Off Road Plant – Pilot Project’

Nery Ergonomics Services – January 2003

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David Nery

‘Success Factors Associated with Demonstrated Effectiveness of Contractor Safety Management’

ACIRRT, University of Sydney – November 2002

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Kathryn Heiler

‘Effectiveness of Current Methods to Control Sprain and Strain Injuries in the NSW Coal Industry’

Working Armour - February 2003

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Julie Armour

‘Manual Handling in Underground Mines’

CS Health and CQPR Pty Ltd – July 2002

Available as a Publication only

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‘e-MineSafe Simulator Training and Assessment’

University of NSW and Mine Site Technologies Pty Ltd – September 2001

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Stothard, Otto, Laurence, Galvin, Zenari

‘Demonstration and proving of the Acoustic Energy Meter for Detecting Incompetent Mine Roof as part of Routine Roof Sounding’

STRATA ENGINEERING (Australia) Pty Ltd – August 2004

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Russell Frith

‘Working Safely with Hearing Loss’

Sound Research Ventures Pty Ltd – November 2002

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Neil Pennington

‘Feasibility Study – Implementation of an Ergonomics Intervention to Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries Caused by Manual Handling’

The University of Queensland – March 2002

'Implementation of an Ergonomics Intervention to Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries Caused by Manual Handling'

The University of Queensland – January 2006

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Robin Burgess-Limerick, D Lee, David Cliff, Andrew Neal, Jim Joy, Leon Straker, Clare Pollock, Sue Leveritt

‘Noise Awareness and Hearing Protection Training for the Australian Coal Industry’

Noise and Sound Services – October 2001

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Ken Scannell

‘Risk Factors for Heart Disease Among Coal Miners’

SIMTARS - March 2002

‘Investigation of Elevated Blood Pressure Among NSW Coal Miners’

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Carmel Bofinger, Bruce Ham

‘Feasibility Study for a National Health Data Base’

SIMTARS - 2001

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Carmel Bofinger, Bruce Ham

‘Feasibility of Simulation Technology for Training in the Coal industry’

Consultants April 2000

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Bob Gibbons, Andrew MacPherson

‘ALTS II – A Longwall Gateroad Design Methodology for Australian Collieries’

Coffey Geosciences Pty Ltd – January 2001

(Software Package & Report No RD 900/01-019 available from Coffey Geosciences Pty Ltd)

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Mark Colwell, Sean Cory

‘No Black Marks – A Fair Drugs and Alcohol Policy’

JCB Health - 2001

Available as VHS PAL Video Only

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‘Hearing Protection Performance for the Australian Coal Industry’

Wilkinson Murray Pty Ltd – February 1998

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Ken Scannell

‘Evaluation of the TEOM Continuous Respirable Dust Monitor for Use in Australian Coal Mines – Stage 1’

Joint Coal Board – April 1998, December 1999

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Denis Glover, Brian Davies

‘Extended Shift Exposure Limit Adjustment Factors for Coal Mine Dusts’

SIMTARS – June 1998

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Gerard Tiernan, Deborah Van Zanten

‘Exposure to Diesel Particulate Under Various Operating Conditions in Queensland Underground Coal Mines’

AROH & S Pty Ltd – March 2002

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Alan Rogers

‘Hazards of Remote Control in Mining’

School of Safety Science, University of New South Wales - April 2000

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Jean Cross, Patrick Donohue

‘Electrostatic Enhancement of Water Sprays for Coal Dust Suppression’

School of Safety Science, University of New South Wales - April 2000

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JA Cross, JCW Fowler, Gui Fu

‘Publication – Outbursts of Gas, Coal and Rock in Underground Coal Mines’

Available on CD ROM from ACARP as Report # C4034

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Ripu Lama, Jakub Bodziony

‘Keeping Coal Miners Healthy at Work - An Occupational Hygiene Manual for the Coal Industry’

Australian Environmental Health Services – December 1997

“January 2001 / Revision 1” (Loose-leaf Folder Only)

“March 2004/ Revision 2” (CD ROM Only)

"October 2008/ Revision 3"

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Brian Davies, Denis Glover, Richard Manuell

‘Exposure Measurement & Risk Estimation from Diesel Particulate (DP) in Underground Coal Mines’

Alan Rogers OH&S Pty Ltd – September 2005

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Alan Rogers

‘Noise Management at Coal mine Sites’

Joint Coal Board Noise Induced Hearing Loss Standing Committee – January 1996

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Thomas Mitchell. VIOSH Australia, University of Ballarat

‘Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection’

New South Wales Cancer Council – April 1998

Available as a Publication Only

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‘Investigation into the Problems Associated with the Wearing of Work Boots in the NSW Underground Coal Mining Industry’

‘Safety / Protective Footwear Specification July’ 2000

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Shirley Marr, Research Podiatrist

‘Benchmarking Rehabilitative Need in miners with Hearing Loss’

Decisions Research Asia – April 2003

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Anthony Hogan, Simon Fifer

‘Deterioration of Noise Absorption Materials Used in Underground Coal Mining Equipment’

VIOSH Australia, University of Ballarat – August 2000

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Thomas Mitchell, John Culvenor, Steve Cowley

‘National Workplace Health Project’

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine – University of Sydney June 2000

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David Harris, Judy Simpson, Brian Oldenburg, Timothy Dobbins

‘Portable Refuge Chamber – Stage 1’

Minesite Technologies – December 1994

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Dennis Kent and Greg Payne

‘Proceedings – Symposium on Management and Control of High Gas Emissions and Outbursts in Underground Coal Mines’

Kembla Coal & Coke Pty Ltd – March 1995

Available as a Publication Only

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Ripu Lama

‘Elimination of Goaf Encroachment into the Working Place’

The University of New South Wales - December 1998

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Bruce Hebblewhite

‘Lower Limb and Ankle Trauma Amongst Coal Miners: Enhancing Prevention of Injury and Improving Rehabilitation Success’

The University of Sydney & Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney - March 1999

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Dennis Smith, Ross Harris, David Harris, George Truman & Natalie Pelham

‘Sudden & Uncontrolled Roof Failures’

Institute of Coal Research (ICR), The University of Newcastle - December 1999

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Konrad H R Moelle, Gan Li, Greg Dean- Jones

‘Eye Safety in the NSW Coal Mining Industry’

Unisearch, The University of New South Wales - December 1996

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D Dingsdag, S Dain, C Winder

‘Exposure to Whole Body Vibration for Drivers and Passengers in Mining Vehicles’

Part 1 - Open Cut Mines and a Coal Loading Terminal

National Occupational Health & Safety Commission (Worksafe Australia) - May 2000

Part 2 - "Report Findings 1997 to 2000 at Four Underground Mines. To be read in conjunction with Part 1

National Occupational Health & Safety Commission (Worksafe Australia) - February 2001

"A Handbook on Whole-Body Vibration Exposure in Mining"

July 2001 (Also available as publication)

A link to the final report in relation to underground mines is provided below.

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Barbara McPhee, Gary Foster, Airdrie Long

‘Assessment of Personal Noise Exposure & Equipment Noise Levels in Underground Coal Mines’

Vipac Engineers & Scientists Ltd March 1994

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‘A Guide for the Application of Ergonomics in Coal Mines’


Available as a Publication only

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Noel Pye, Leo Roberts, Laurie Stiller, Barbara McPhee, Bob Graham

‘Detection of DNA Adducts in Coal Miners Exposed to Diesel Engine Emissions’

Worksafe Australia 1995

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Shu-Xin Qu, James Leigh, Hamilton Koelmeyer, Neill Stacey

‘The Dynamics of Windblasts in Underground Coal Mines – Phase 3’

School of Mines, University of NSW April 1997

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Chris Fawler, S Torabi

‘Application of Coal Petrography and Microstructure to Gas Emissions, outburst Proneness Indications and Alleviation in underground Coal Mines’

Coalseam Gas Research Institute, James Cook University of Nth Qld 1995

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Peter Crosdale, Basil Beamish

‘Categorisation of Rock Strata in Australian Coal Mines with Respect to Potential for Methane Ignition by Frictional Effects’

School of Mines, University of NSW 1995

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Colin Ward, Anton Crouch, David Cohen, Chris Fowler, Drago Panich

‘Chemical and Physical Characterisation of Coal Dust’

University of New South Wales Surface Science and Technology School of Chemistry August 1995

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Robert Lamb

‘Identification of Fabric Defects Leading to Roof Failure Under Mining Induced Loading’

Institute of New South Wales Surface Science and Technology School of Chemistry - August 1995

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G Li, K Moelle

‘Study into the Efficacy of Pre-Hospital Treatment of Seriously Injured Mineworkers’

United Mineworkers Federation - 1995

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Owen James

‘Implications of Modified Roof Bolting Sequences on Stability and Safety During Roadway Development’

Strata Control Technology (1995)

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Winton Gale, G Tarrant, R Guy, S MacGregor

‘Strata for Coal Mine Design’

University of NSW Dept of Mining Engineering 1996 (Free)

Also available as a Publication

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Jim Galvin

‘Pilot Project Development of a High-Resilience Under Ground Heterogeneous Wireless Mesh Network’

  • Task 1: Heterogeneous Mesh Network Design: The mesh network will have three kinds of elements: Mesh Coordinator: the converging point of the heterogeneous network and maintains routing tables; Routers: which can talk other devices, and reduced function end devices (sensors): which can only talk to routers and the coordinator. The mesh Coordinators can be directly connected to the existing backbone of network of the mine or be standalone.
  • Task 2: Mesh Coordinator: The mesh coordinator will be developed with multiple antennas (WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth) with COFDM and a heterogeneous network convergence software module. This will essentially be a “black box” that can talk to Multiple wireless devices. This can be connected to the mine’s main power supply and/or a self-contained battery. This makes the device useable in mine rescue and recovery operations.
  • Task 3: Router and End Device: Development of a self-configuring/healing mesh algorithm with a suitable green communications technology for extending battery life in both prototype router and end devices.
  • Task 4: Prototype System Testing: Testing of the prototype will be conducted at our laboratory facilities at the University of Canberra. The developed communications system’s capability to communicate through ground obstruction will be tested practically and simulation.
  • Task 5: Analysis and Reporting: Results of the outcomes of the pilot project will be prepared and presented to Coal Services and used nt he ARC Linkage Grant application.
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Dr Kumudu Munasinghe, University of Canberra
Start date
11 September 2014
Estimated end date

‘Whole Body Vibration Tool Project’

Conclusion: The relatively low cost of the iPod Touch hardware, and simplicity of the WBV application, has the potential to facilitate routine collection of whole body vibration exposure by site based workplace safety and health staff as part of a systematic whole body vibration risk management program.

The ability to respond rapidly to operator feedback or complaints may also allow early identification of developing problems with roadways or equipment. It is feasible for multiple iPod Touch devises to be used to collect whole shift vibration data for all equipment on site in conjunction with other variables such as road condition, weather, task, location and speed.

The availability of the WBV application facilitates collection of adequate data to allow the identification and understanding of the sources of uncertainty in the evaluation of occupational exposure to whole body vibration.

As well as allowing valid assessments of health risks to be undertaken at a workplace, identifying the combinations of factors which

Lead to elevated vibration amplitudes provides valuable insight into the potential means of implementing effective risk control interventions.

The ability to easily collect whole body vibration data allows the potential effectiveness of suggested control measures to be assessed as part of the risk management process. In summary, the iOS application has potential to effectively evaluate whole body vibration exposure within a workplace risk management process.

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Robin Burgess-Limerick, University of Queensland
Start date
29 August 2013

Estimated end date
01 August 2014

‘Calibration of Diesel Particulate Analysers’

Conclusion: The study established an acceptable EC correlation between data using the MAHA MPM-4M aerosol DPM analyser for samples collected from the manifold exhaust sample point and samples collected from the vehicle exhaust.
The study also showed an acceptable correlation between EC data using the MAHA MPM-4M LLS device and the NIOSH 5040 quartz filter analysis from samples collected at both the manifold and the engine exhaust.

The study also showed an acceptable correlation between EC data using the MAHA MPM-4M LLS device and the NIOSH 5040 quartz filter analysis from samples collected at both the manifold and the engine exhaust.

Although it was thought that a revised correction factor would be required for different engine types, this was not found to be the case based on the data produced from this study. Despite the fact that the sample size for some engine types was small, these engines exhibited a similar degree of variance in EC between the MAHA MPM-4M LLS device and the NIOSH 5040 quartz filter analysis to that of engine types with a larger sample size.

Based on the results of this research, the current correction factor used in LLS devices such as the MAHA MPM-4M requires updating from 0.46 to 0.65 when sampling from the exhaust and 0.67 when sampling from the manifold exhaust.

The ability to take samples directly from the manifold exhaust for EC analysis has advantages over taking samples from the vehicle exhaust. These include eliminating issues relating to water vapour in the sample, control over probe insertion and position and more realistic data in relation to engine emissions and condition prior to other devices that may be fitted to the engine.

There seems to be an unfounded perception within the coal mining industry that the accuracy of the LLS and other DPM devices that are currently is use is absolute. Given the equipment and testing variables that can occur during the routine EC and TPM engine testing, results will vary between operators. While an acceptable correlation between LLS devices and the NIOSH 5040 quartz filter analysis has been established during this study, the focus should remain with good engine maintenance and perhaps the adoption of EC value ranges as opposed to a specific concentration as an upper limit.

While a number of analysis outliers were evident from the results, the number was relatively small and did not impact on the overall findings.

The use of the ERP chamber vessel for engine manifold sampling and the Freudenberg sampling system for quartz filter sampling confirmed the observations by Dr Brian Davies in the 2013, Wollongong University, Coal Services Health and Safety Trust research as being suitable devices for this type of testing.

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Peter Mason, Coal Mines Technical Services
Start date
21 February 2014

Estimated end date
15 November 2014

‘Partners in Mining – Supporting mine workers and mining family members, who support, care or love someone living with depression’

Project Aims:
  • The proposal is for the first stage of a two-stage concept. In the first phase of the program the Hunter Institute of Mental Health (HIMH) in partnership with CS Health aims to plan, redevelop, pilot and evaluate Partners in Depression for min workers and mining families who care for someone living with depression (Partners in Mining), in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.
  • The first phase of the program will be done in such a way as to support the dissemination of the program through the development of a training manual, participant resources and online materials to qualified allied health staff in CS Health sites in the pilot area.
  • Allied health staff in this location will be provided with extensive training, program support (e.g. recruitment support and logistics), clinical governance support (e.g. clinical mentoring and support from PiD clinicians and project staff) and extensive support to evaluate the program.
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Jaelea Skehan, Hunter Institute of Mental Health
Start date
04 November 2013
Estimated end date

‘Evaluating the impact of Virtual Reality based training on the competency of rescue brigades’

Project Aims:
  • Analysis of the evolution of training transfer in time for various rescue brigades will be conducted using a Hidden Markov Model (HMM), a procedure widely used to analyse temporal patterns with hidden intermediate states.
  • Predictions made by the model will be compared with observed performance during and after training sessions to test the robustness of the model.
  • Finally, complementary information will allow us to evaluate the degree of alignment of expectations between managers and trainers with actual training transfer capacity and identify the most efficient training sequences.
  • This will help Mines Rescue to develop better tailored training programs for existing and future rescue brigades in Woonona, Lithgow, Newcastle and Singleton.
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Research Director
Pascal Perez, SMART Infrastructure, University of Wollongong
Start date
02 September 2014
Estimated end date