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‘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

‘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.

Ref Number
20624
Professor
Robin Burgess-Limerick, University of Queensland
Start date
29 August 2013

Date Completed
01 August 2014

‘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

‘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.
Ref Number
20628
Research Director
Pascal Perez, SMART Infrastructure, University of Wollongong
Start date
02 September 2014
Date Completed

‘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