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‘Obesity and NSW Coal Mining’

Expected Results:

This research will provide evidence of the extent of the problem of overweight and obesity within the NSW coal mining industry. It will provide information on the current situation with regards to the management of overweight and obesity within the NSW Coal Mining industry at a site level, with an understanding of what weight management initiatives have been trialled, how these have been received by employees, how they have been evaluated and measured and what outcomes have been achieved at a site level.

This research will provide valuable information about the challenges and benefits of current weight management initiatives within the NSW Coal Mining industry. This will inform implementation of appropriate programs, with a shift from an ad hoc site by site approach to engagement of key stakeholders in developing a coordinated, comprehensive, industry wide approach to the management of overweight and obesity in the future.

Ref Number
20648
Associated Professor Carole James, University of Newcastle
Start date
Date Completed
21 February 2019

‘Development of Automated Diagnostic Tools for Pneumoconiosis Detection from Chest X-Ray Radiographs’

Expected Results:

The expected results of the proposed project include a prognostic software package which can be used for the automatic mass diagnostic screening of chest X-ray radiographs to detect, evaluate and monitor pneumoconiosis. Given the black lung can continue to progress after coal dust exposure ceases and severe symptoms can emerge up to 15 years later, early detection and tracking the progress of pneumoconiosis are important for taking measures and precautions, and treating the complications caused by the disease. It is expected that the results produced from the proposed software package will be comparable to experienced radiologists, thus potentially hastening vital diagnosis and treatment capabilities.

Ref Number
20647
Dadong Wang, CSIRO
Start date
Date Completed
17 June 2019

‘Task Rotation in an Underground Coal Mine’

Expected Results:

The project will provide valuable information about the challenges and benefits of introducing task rotation within an underground coal mining environment considering the management, supervisor and workers perspective. This information will inform future implementation of task rotation within the coal mining environment.

Guidelines that will surround the project include:

  • 9 hour shift-minimum of 2 rotations maximum of 3
  • 12 hour shift-minimum of 3 rotations maximum of 4
  • Maximum of 4 hours per task
  • Deputy to allocate task rotations within his crew as each shift will be different
  • Rotations need to be as practical as possible for each individual crew
  • Individuals should not rotate to a task that is similar to a previous task e.g. left hand to right hand bolting.

These guidelines form the expectations of the project and can be transferrable across the coal mining industry.

Ref Number
20645
Kristy Prior, Coal Services Health
Start date
Date Completed
31 January 2018

‘Managing whole-body vibration associated with underground coal mining equipment’

Expected Results:

By the end of the project we expect to:

  • Develop and evaluate iOS and server software which will allow continuous monitoring and analysis of earth‐moving equipment operator vibration exposures; and.
  • Utilise this information to obtain an enhanced understanding of the sources of elevated whole-body vibration and impact loads associated with haul truck and dozer operations at surface coal mines. The iOS and server software will be made freely available for download.
Ref Number
20643
Robin Burgess Limerick, University of Queensland
Start date
Date Completed
17 April 2019

‘Respiratory Protection: Do PAPRs adequately protect workers against DPM?’

Expected Results:

The research will determine whether currently utilised powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) effectively filter out Diesel Particulate Matter and provide worker protection; by challenging PAPR filters used in mining workplaces with DPM; and by measuring the EC and the sizes of particles that are penetrating the filters to determine whether that poses an additional health risk for workers.

Ref Number
20641
Jane Whitelaw, University of Wollongong
Start date
02 December 2016

Date Completed
17 February 2019

‘Reducing the impact of back pain in miners’

Expected Results:

By the end of the project we expect to:

  • Have developed a risk prediction model (screening tool) to identify miners at risk of persistent low back pain and understand the impact of health risk factors on this condition in the mining industry.
  • Understand the challenges and facilitators of integrating the screening tool to link those at risk of persistent low back pain to a telephone-based prevention program.
  • Understand the potential effectiveness of the screening and prevention program on pain coping abilities and health risk factors in those at risk of persistent low back pain.
  • Have worked with the relevant stakeholders, including Coal Services, NSW Ministry of Health, and organisations, to develop a model to implement the program industry wide.
Ref Number
20639
Dr
Christopher Williams, Hunter Valley Research Institute
Start date
11 February 2016

Date Completed
06 September 2018

‘Improving Footwear in Underground Mines’

Project Aims:
  • Evaluate the morphology of the feet of underground coal mine workers (Study 1);
  • Determine the effects of safety footwear on foot function in underground coal mine workers (Study 2); and
  • Investigate whether semi-customised safety footwear, which cater for the unique structural and functional characteristics of the feet of underground coal mine workers, improve shoe fit and are perceived as comfortable (Study 3 & 4).
Ref Number
20620
Professor
Julie Steele, Wollongong University
Start date
15 August 2012

Date Completed
31 December 2016

‘Development of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Mark I (Proof of Concept) for Mines Rescue rapid response to coal mine emergencies’

Project Aims:

Success of the Mark 1 UAV project would see:

  • A flying UAV platform that is capable of traversing down a mine roadway regardless of the condition of the terrain on the floor of the mine. (Essentially the core of the project is to avoid the problems that ground-based robots encounter when a mine roadway collapses).
  • To provide an operator with live video feed as the UAV flies down the mine roadway in real time, sending back colour or thermal imagery.
  • Monitor and record gas levels within the mine roadway as the craft flies to give Mines Rescue emergency personnel information of gas levels without endangering human life by entering the mine.
  • LED lighting on the UAV will provide light for navigation purposes and also to illuminate the mine roadway enough that an operator can physically spot a human lying on the floor of the roadway.
  • Produce an Australian made product that will have use across NSW coal mines. Application can also transfer worldwide for use and exposure to potentially save lives and recover resources.
Ref Number
20630
State Operations Manager
Steve Tonegato, Coal Services, Mines Rescue Service
Start date
22 August 2014

Date Completed
31 December 2016

‘An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Communications Platform for Mines Rescue Operations’

Project Aims:

Task 2: Prototype UAV Communication System:

Working closely with the UAV operator in Adelaide, UC will develop a prototype SDR system to allow for UAV communications from above ground monitor stations to the mining face via a UAV deployed node based mesh network that has non-line of sight coverage using COFDM technology. UC will also develop the transmitters and receivers that are mounted on the aircraft.

Task 3: Prototype Demonstration

A demo of the UAV operating in an underground mine using the prototype communications system with 8 battery powered nodes to control the UAV, stream thermal and normal video, and transmit gas sensor data from the UAV back to the surface. The nodes will be small enough to be carried and deployed by the UAV and will provide at least 3 hours of battery life.

Task 4: Routing Algorithm Optimisation

Development of a self-configuring energy efficient routing algorithm for the UAV Communication system will be focused in this task. Data routing is one of the core challenges in the UAV Communication system since the router connectivity may change frequently and latency and dropouts could be catastrophic to the vehicle. The designed routing algorithm must support a multi-hop communication paradigm and provide alternative connections in the event of the failure of current routes.

Task 5: Intrinsically Safe Configuration Design

UC will work with Strata and the Mine Safety Testing Centre (MSTC) to test the prototype UAV communication system, and provide test reports demonstrating and providing independent proof, for compliance with national and international IS standards.

Ref Number
20632
Dr Kumudu Munasinghe, University of Canberra
Start date
13 October 2015

Date Completed
31 March 2016

‘Periodic Musculoskeletal Screen’

Expected Results:

At the completion of the project, CS Health will have demonstrated whether a 30-45 minute musculoskeletal screen can identify risk trends in conjunction with data collected from the Order 41 periodic health surveillance medical. Upon identification of these trends, a targeted intervention can be designed to address the workforce. These results will allow industry to identify training requirements that are associated with specific roles within a mine leading to a reduction in common injuries.

Ref Number
20633
Kristy Prior, Coal Services Health
Start date
03 March 2015

Date Completed
29 February 2016

‘Respiratory Protection (are our standards protecting worker health or providing a false sense of security’

Project Aims:

To determine whether currently utilised respirator filters effectively filter out Diesel Particulate Matter and provide worker protection; by testing respirator filters used in mining workplaces against DPM, and by measuring the sizes of particles that are penetrating the filters to determine whether that poses an additional health risk for workers.

Ref Number
20634
Jane Whitelaw, University of Wollongong
Start date
Date Completed
31 July 2016

‘Establishing a bona fide physical assessment and performance standard for Mines Rescue Personnel in NSW’

Expected Results:

This investigation will:

  • Quantify the actual physical and physiological demands for mines rescue activities.
  • Develop an assessment protocol and performance characteristics necessary for the performance of essential mines rescue scenarios.
  • Develop an assessment protocol and performance standard to identify those individuals that have the physical attributes necessary to meet the minimum requirements to perform coal mines rescue activities.
  • Create a formal report of the processes utilised to develop the recommended assessment tool and minimum performance standard. A clear linkage between the physical demands of mines rescue, the proposed assessment protocol and performance standard will be evident within the report. This documentation will assist in the legal defensibility of the adopted assessment and performance standard within Coal Services.
Ref Number
20635
Herbert Groeller, University of Wollongong
Start date
17 November 2015

Date Completed
31 December 2017

‘Zero harm positive safety culture by applying mindfulness based high-performance, thinking strategies’

Expected Results:
  • Confirmation of a field tested Zero Harm Positive Culture Program to achieve a sustained high-performance safety (including mental health benefits);
  • Confirmation of a field tested real-time Safety Culture measurement tool. Measurement indicators will include typical Safety Performance Measures (Lead and Lag). GSI index outcomes (including qualitative statements) and Safety Culture Interactions Findings.
Ref Number
20636
Alistair Schuback, Aframes Safety
Start date
Date Completed
29 February 2016

‘Assessing whole-body vibration’

Expected Results:

The outcome of the projects will be a comprehensive and detailed description of the whole body vibration exposures associated with the operation of underground coal mining equipment at two exemplar sites.

Ref Number
20638
Robin Burgess Limerick, University of Queensland
Start date
13 February 2015

Date Completed
31 March 2016

‘Mine emergency response system demonstrator’

Expected Results:

This project will examine and develop technology that can address information deficiencies following major mine incidents. Information during emergencies is increasingly seen as a critical issue and requirement for emergency response, both in terms of safely committing mines rescuers in high risk situations and also better equipping miners to self-rescue.

Ref Number
20640
Dr Gareth Kennedy, Simtars
Start date
02 December 2015

Date Completed
15 October 2018