Mining and quarrying - 1,961 entries found
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Deubner D.C., Sabey P., Huang W., Fernandez D., Rudd A., Johnson W.P., Storrs J., Larson R.
Solubility and chemistry of materials encountered by beryllium mine and ore extraction workers - Relation to risk
Beryllium mine and ore extraction mill workers have low rates of beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease relative to the level of beryllium exposure. The objective of this study was to relate these rates to the solubility and composition of the mine and mill materials. Medical surveillance and exposure data were summarized. Dissolution of beryllium oxide (BeO), ore materials and beryllium hydroxide (Be(OH)2) was measured in synthetic lung fluid. The ore materials were more soluble than BeO at pH 7.2 and similar at pH 4.5. Be(OH)2 was more soluble than BeO at both pH levels. Aluminium was also found to be dissolved along with beryllium from ore materials. The Higher solubility of beryllium ore materials and Be(OH)2at pH 7.2 might shorten particle longevity in the lung. The aluminum content of the ore materials might inhibit the cellular immune response to beryllium.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.53, No.10, p.1187-1193. Illus. 22 ref.
Solubility_and_chemistry_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
ILO_LABORDOC_[INTRANET_ACCESS] [in English]
Occupational safety in mining in Vietnam
This article on occupational safety in the mining sector in Vietnam presents the current situation and proposes some solutions to minimizing occupational accidents and diseases. Tables and charts present trends in occupational accidents, fatal accidents, occupational accidents by sector of activity, and occupational accidents in coal mining, including fatal accidents.
Vietnam Newsletter on Occupational Safety and Health, 2011, Vol.1, p.3-5, 7. Illus.
Tomicic C., Vernez D., Belem T., Berode M.
Human mercury exposure associated with small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, gold ore is one of the main sources of income for an important part of the active population. Artisan gold miners use mercury in the extraction, a toxic metal whose human health risks are well known. The aim of this study was to assess mercury exposure as well as to understand the exposure determinants of gold miners in small-scale mines. The study population was composed of 93 persons who were directly and indirectly related to gold mining activities on eight sites. Work-related exposures were evaluated based on the specific tasks carried out. Urinary samples were collected and participants were examined by a local medical team for possible symptoms related to the toxic effects of mercury. Mercury levels were high, with 69% of the measurements exceeding the ACGIH biological exposure index of 35 ¿g per g of creatinine (¿g/g-Cr) (prior to shift) while 16% even exceeded 350 ¿g/g-Cr. Various symptoms related to mercury toxicity were observed. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2011, Vol.84, No.5, p.539-546. Illus. 23 ref.
Human_mercury_exposure_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
"The Chile 33": The lessons that must be learned
Les 33 mineurs: un sauvetage dont le Chili doit tirer les leçons [in French]
With reference to the successful rescue of 33 miners trapped by a tunnel collapse in a copper mine in Chile, this article discusses more generally the safety and health issues in the Chilean mining sector.
Hesamag, 1st half 2011, No.3, p.36-39. Illus.
Les_33_mineurs.pdf [in French]
In Romania, work still bad for health
En Roumanie, le travail ce n'est pas encore la santé [in French]
This article comments statistical trends showing important improvements in the rates of occupational accidents and fatalities in Romania. It argues that while the improvements are partly due to better labour inspection and prevention measures, they are also explained by the closure of many unsafe mines and dangerous workplaces.
Hesamag, 1st half 2011, No.3, p.29-31. Illus
En_Roumanie.pdf [in French]
Ferguson S.A., Paech G.M., Dorrian J., Roach G.D., Jay S.M.
Performance on a simple response time task: Is sleep or work more important for miners?
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of work- and sleep-related factors on an objective measure of response time in a field setting. Thirty-five mining operators working 12h shifts completed daily sleep and work diaries, wore activity monitors continuously and completed palm-based psychomotor vigilance tests at the start and end of each shift. Linear mixed models were used to test the main effects on response time of roster, timing of test, sleep history and prior wake. The time at which the test occurred was a significant predictor of response time, with the end of night shifts being associated with significantly slower response times than the start of night shifts, and the start or end of day shifts. Further, the amount of sleep obtained in the 24h prior to the test was also a significant predictor of response time. The results suggest that the end of night shift is associated with changes in response time indicative of performance impairments. The immediate sleep history was also predictive of changes in response time, with lower amounts of prior sleep related to slower response times. The current data provides further evidence that sleep is a primary mediator of performance, independent of roster pattern.
Applied Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.42, p.210-213. Illus. 35 ref.
Cheng J., Yang S.
Data mining applications in evaluating mine ventilation system
Ventilation systems are an important component of underground mines. They provide a sufficient quantity of air to maintain suitable working environment. Based on former findings and in-depth analysis of mine ventilation systems, this article proposes an early warning model to improve the mine ventilation safety. The model itself is comprised of two sub-models, and two data mining techniques are used to assist in building each sub-model. One is the optimal indexes selection model which applies the Rough Set theory (RS) to assist the selection of best ventilation indexes. The other is the risk evaluation model based on the Support Vector Machine (SVM) to classify the risk ranks for the mine ventilation system. Testing cases are used to demonstrate the applicability of this integrated model.
Safety Science, 2011, 5p. Illus. 15 ref.
Data_mining_applications.pdf [in English]
Nelson G., Murray J., Phillips J.I.
The risk of asbestos exposure in South African diamond mine workers
Asbestos is associated with South African diamond mines due to the nature of kimberlite and the location of the diamond mines in relation to asbestos deposits. However little is known about the health risks in the diamond mining industry. The objective of this study was to explore the possibility of asbestos exposure during the process of diamond mining. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis were used to identify asbestos fibres in the lungs of diamond mine workers who had an autopsy for compensation purposes and in the tailings and soils from three South African diamond mines located close to asbestos deposits. The asbestos lung fibre burdens were calculated and asbestos-related pathological findings in diamond mine workers at autopsy were documented. Tremolite-actinolite asbestos fibres were identified in the lungs of five men working on diamond mines. Tremolite-actinolite and/or chrysotile asbestos were present in the mine tailings of all three mines. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and/or pleural plaques were diagnosed in six diamond mine workers at autopsy. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2011, Vol.55, No.6, p.569-577. Illus. 35 ref.
The_risk_of_asbestos.pdf [in English]
Hahn M.G., Pule T., Sutherland D.K.B., Schutte S., Rees D., Murray J., Grainger L., Herrera-Montero V., Cárdenas P.
Collection of articles on occupational safety and health in mines of relevance to African countries. Topics covered: mining activities and occupational safety and health at work; occupational injuries in a gold mining company in Ghana; ergonomics as a practice for safe and healthy mining in South African mines; considerations when designing monitoring of silica-exposed miners in southern Africa; mine safety in Chile.
African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, Apr. 2011, Vol.21, No.1, p.1-19 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Mining.pdf [in English]
Elenge M.M., De Brouwer C.
Identification of hazards in the workplaces of artisanal mining in Katanga
While artisanal mining takes place in casual framework and with total ignorance of good practices, few studies have focused on the origin of hazards specific to each workplace constitutive of this exploitation facility. Nevertheless, this study is a condition of an efficient occupational safety and health control in this sector. This study of the Ruashi artisanal mine in Congo identifies different workplaces and the hazards specific to each of them, through the observation and analysis of the various tasks, tools and processes used. The investigated exploitation facility consists of five categories of workers: diggers; crushers; washers; hand-made furnace workers; loaders. Beside the risks common to these various workplaces and ensuing notably from the lack of hygiene and working in bad positions, operating in underground galleries exposes diggers to the risks connected with collapsing parts of the mine, suffocation, dehydration or fine particles in the breathed air. Crushers are especially exposed to traumatism risks, notably ocular, and loaders are exposed to risks related to handling heavy loads. Several simple risk prevention measures are proposed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2011, Vol.24, No.1, p.57-66. Illus. 24 ref.
Marcotte P., Ouellette S., Boutin J., LeBlanc G.
Evaluation of the vibration and noise from mining equipment
Evaluation des vibrations et du bruit des équipements miniers [in French]
Underground mines in Quebec employ more than 5,000 workers, with many occupationally exposed noise and vibration. Claims for health problems related to overexposure to hand-arm vibration have increased considerably in recent years. Furthermore, 458 miners were compensated for occupational deafness from 1998 to 2003. The objective of this study was to identify the various sources of vibration and sound that can have a harmful effect on miners' health, to measure their amplitude and to define the actions to be taken to minimize worker exposure to noise and vibration, including technical solutions. Findings are discussed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2011. ix, 183p. Illus. 22 ref.
R-682.pdf [in French]
Potts J.D., Reed W.R., Colinet J.F.
Evaluation of face dust concentrations at mines using deep-cutting practices
In this study, dust surveys were conducted at six underground mines in the United States to determine if deep-cut mining practices expose face workers to higher levels of respirable dust by comparing levels during the first 20ft of advance (regular-cut depth), during the deep cut to levels and during the final 10 to 20ft of advance (deep-cut depth). In general, all of the selected mines exercised good dust control practices by maintaining water sprays, scrubber airflows, proper curtain setback distances and providing sufficient airflow to the active faces. All of the operations surveyed for this study were able to successfully implement deep-cutting methods without significantly increasing the dust exposures of face workers during the cutting and bolting cycles. Implications of these and other findings are discussed.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Jan. 2011. Internet document, PDF format, 94p. Illus. 15 ref.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2011-131.pdf [in English]
CAP the noise to save your hearing!
Today, more than 150,000 miners in the United States have some hearing loss. By the age of 60, more than 75% of coal miners have a hearing impairment from exposure to noise. Once hearing is lost due to noise, it is permanent and cannot be reversed. Because there is no pain or visible damage, the hearing loss may not be noticed right away. Aimed at miners, this leaflet explains what they can do when exposed to hazardous noise; CAP (control, avoid and protect).
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, 2011. PDF document. 2p. Illus.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2011-102.pdf [in English]
Laney A.S., Attfield M.D.
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis and progressive massive fibrosis are increasingly more prevalent among workers in small underground coal mines in the United States
The objective of this study was to determine whether the prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) or progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) among United States underground miners is associated with mine size. Chest radiographs from 1970 to 2009 of working miners who participated in the National Coal Workers Health Surveillance Program for the presence of small and large opacities consistent with pneumoconiosis were examined, based upon the International Labour Organization classification system. A total of 145 512 miners contributed 240 067 radiographs for analysis. From the 1990s to the 2000s, the prevalence of radiographic CWP increased among miners in mines of all sizes, while miners working in mines with fewer than 50 employees had a significantly higher prevalence of CWP compared to miners who worked in mines with 50 or more employees. When adjusted for age and within-miner correlation, the difference in prevalence of CWP by mine size was significant for all decades. Since 1999, miners from small mines were five times more likely to have radiographic evidence of PMF (1.0% of miners) compared to miners from larger mines (0.2% of miners) with a prevalence ratio of 5.0. The prevalence of CWP among United States coal miners is increasing in mines of all sizes, while CWP and PMF are much more prevalent among workers from underground mines with fewer than 50 workers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010, Vol.67, p.428-431. Illus. 16 ref.
Coal_workers'_pneumoconiosis_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Laney A.S., Petsonk E.L., Attfield M.D.
Pneumoconiosis among underground bituminous coal miners in the United States: Is silicosis becoming more frequent?
Epidemiological reports since 2000 have documented increased prevalence and rapid progression of pneumoconiosis among underground coal miners in the United States. To investigate a possible role of silica exposure in the increase, this study examined chest x-rays (CXRs) for specific abnormalities (r-type small opacities) known to be associated with silicosis lung pathology. Underground coal miners are offered CXRs every 5 years. Abnormalities consistent with pneumoconiosis are recorded by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) B Readers using ILO classification. CXRs from 1980 to 2008 of 90,973 participating miners were studied, focusing on reporting of r-type opacities (small rounded opacities 3-10 mm in diameter). Log binomial regression was used to calculate prevalence ratios adjusted for miner age and profusion category. Among miners, the proportion of radiographs showing r-type opacities increased during the 1990s (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.5) and after 1999 (PR 4.1), compared to the 1980s. The prevalence of progressive massive fibrosis in 2000-2008 was also elevated compared to the 1980s (PR 4.4) and 1990s (PR 3.8). The increasing prevalence of pneumoconiosis over the past decade and the change in the epidemiology and disease profile documented in this and other recent studies imply that United States coal miners are being exposed to excessive amounts of respirable crystalline silica.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.67, No.10, p.652-656. Illus. 28 ref.
Pneumoconiosis_among_underground_bituminous_coal_miners_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Sweeney D.D., Slagley J.M., Smith D.A.
Insertion loss of noise barriers on an aboveground, full-scale model longwall coal mining shearer
The mining industry struggles with hazardous noise and dust exposures in underground mining. Specifically, longwall coal mine shearer operators are routinely exposed to noise levels at 151% of the allowable daily dose, and approximately 20% exceed regulatory dust levels. In this study, a partial barrier was mounted on the full-scale mock shearer at the NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory. A simulated, full-scale, coal mine longwall shearer operation was employed to test the feasibility of utilizing a barrier to separate the shearer operator from the direct path of the noise and dust source during mining operations. In this model, noise levels at the operators' positions were reduced by 2.6 to 8.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) from the application of the test barriers. Estimated insertion loss underground was 1.7 to 7.3 dBA. The barrier should now be tested in an underground mining operation to determine if it can reduce shearer operators' noise exposure to below regulatory limits.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2010, Vol.7, No.1, p.272-279. Illus. 17 ref.
Insertion_loss.pdf [in English]
Onder M., Adiguzel E.
Evaluation of occupational fatalities among underground coal mine workers through hierarchical loglinear models
In this study, hierarchical loglinear analyses were applied to occupational fatalities having occurred in the period of 1980-2004 in the five underground coal mines in Turkey. Accident records were evaluated and the main factors affecting the accidents were defined as mine site, miners' age, occupation and accident type. By taking into account the sub factors of the main factors, multi-way contingency tables were prepared and the probabilities that might affect fatality accidents were investigated. Findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, Nov. 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.872-878. Illus. 17 ref.
Evaluation_of_occupational_fatalities.pdf [in English]
Laney A.S., Attfield M.D.
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis and progressive massive fibrosis are increasingly more prevalent among workers in small underground coal mines in the United States
The objective of this study was to determine whether the prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) or progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) among United States underground miners is associated with mine size. Chest radiographs from 1970 to 2009 of working miners who participated in the National Coal Workers Health Surveillance Program for the presence of small and large opacities consistent with pneumoconiosis were examined, based upon the International Labour Organization classification system. A total of 145,512 miners contributed 240,067 radiographs for analysis. From the 1990s to the 2000s, the prevalence of radiographic CWP increased among miners in mines of all sizes, while miners working in mines with fewer than 50 employees had a significantly higher prevalence of CWP compared to miners who worked in mines with 50 or more employees. When adjusted for age and within-miner correlation, the difference in prevalence of CWP by mine size was significant for all decades. Since 1999, miners from small mines were five times more likely to have radiographic evidence of PMF (1.0% of miners) compared to miners from larger mines (0.2% of miners) with a prevalence ratio of 5.0.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2010, Vol.67, No.6, p.428-431. Illus. 16 ref.
Girschik J., Glass D., Ambrosini G.L., Fritschi L.
Could mining be protective against prostate cancer? A study and literature review
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly-diagnosed cancers, with one in three Australian men developing this cancer before the age of 75. Currently, only increasing age, race and family history have been well established as risk factors. Mining employs a significant proportion of the work force in Western Australia. The aims of this study were to describe the characteristics of miners in the Western Australian Prostate Health Study, investigate mining as a risk factor for prostate cancer, to conduct a systematic search of the literature for studies that have investigated mining as an occupational risk factor for prostate cancer and to compare and contrast their methodologies and results. Data were obtained from a population-based case-control study conducted from 1 January 2001 to 20 August 2002 at The University of Western Australia. After controlling for age, family history and military service in Vietnam, miners had a statistically significantly reduced risk of prostate cancer (adjusted odds ratio 0.35). The systematic literature search of studies examining mining and prostate cancer found a reasonably consistent trend of a decreased risk of prostate cancer among miners. None of the published articles discussed their results regarding mining and prostate cancer in detail, and a biological mechanism to support these results has not previously been suggested. The relationship between mining and prostate cancer deserves further investigation.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2010, Vol.67, No.6, p.365-374. Illus. 49 ref.
A prospective cohort study of exposure-response relationship for vibration-induced white finger
The objective of this study was to investigate prospectively the relation between vibration-induced white finger (VWF) and measures of cumulative (lifetime) exposure to hand-transmitted vibration (HTV). Two hundred and forty-nine HTV workers and 138 control men of the same companies participated in a three-year follow-up study. The diagnosis of VWF (Raynaud's phenomenon in the controls) was based on the medical history, the administration of colour charts and the results of a cold test. Tool vibration magnitudes were expressed as root-mean-square acceleration, frequency-weighted according to international standard ISO 5349-1 and also unweighted over the frequency range 6.3-1250 Hz. From the vibration magnitudes and exposure durations, alternative measures of cumulative vibration dose were calculated for each HTV worker. The incidence of VWF varied from 5 to 6% in the HTV workers versus 0 to 1.5% in the controls. After adjusting for potential confounders, measures of cumulative vibration dose derived from total operating hours and high powers of unweighted acceleration gave better predictions of the occurrence of VWF than dose measures calculated from frequency-weighted acceleration. These findings were observed in the entire sample of HTV workers, in those with no VWF at the initial investigation, and in those with normal cold test results at baseline. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2010, vol.67, No.1, p.38-46. Illus. 27 ref.
Thompson A.M., House R., Krajnak K., Eger T.
Vibration-white foot: A case report
Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) refers to the neurological, vascular and musculoskeletal problems that may arise due to exposure to segmental vibration to the hands. An analogous syndrome may occur in the lower extremities of workers exposed to foot-transmitted vibration. This report describes the case of a worker with a history of foot-transmitted vibration exposure presenting with cold intolerance in the feet and blanching in the toes (Raynaud's syndrome). Case report: A 54-year-old Canadian miner presented with a chief complaint of blanching and pain in his toes. The worker had a history of foot-transmitted vibration exposure over his 18 year career as a miner, primarily from the operation of vehicle-mounted bolting machines. Cold provocation digital plethysmography showed cold-induced vasospastic disease in the feet, but not in the hands.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.572-574. Illus. 10 ref.
Attfield M.D., Kempel E.D.
Erratum to "Mortality among U.S. underground coal miners: A 23-year follow-up"
This article corrects two errors in the original article published in 2008 concerning the mortality experience over 22-24 years of 8,899 working coal miners initially medically examined in 1969-1971 at 31 coal mines in the United states. A cohort life-table analysis was undertaken on underlying causes of death, and proportional hazards models were fitted to both underlying, and underlying and contributing causes of death. The findings confirm and enlarge upon previous results showing that exposure to coal mine dust leads to increased mortality, even in the absence of smoking. The errors consisted of a wrong graph and the switching of labels between columns on a table.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.550. Illus.
Kobal A.B., Grum D.K.
Scopoli's work in the field of mercurialism in light of today's knowledge: Past and present perspectives
The mercury mine at Idrija, Slovenia, in continuous operation from 1490 to 1994, appointed its first physician, Joannes Antonius Scopoli, in 1754. Most of his descriptions of mercurialism are still relevant today. This study highlights Scopoli's observations on the interaction between elemental mercury and alcohol, on the appearance of lung impairment, insomnia, and depressive mood in mercurialism. This presentation is based on Scopoli's experiences presented in his book, De Hydrargyro Idriensi Tentamina, together with current knowledge and experience acquired through health monitoring of occupational exposure to mercury. Some studies have confirmed Scopoli's observations that alcohol enhances mercurialism and that exposure to high concentrations of mercury causes serious lung impairment. Neurobiological studies have highlighted the influence of mercury on sleep disorders and depressive moods observed by Scopoli. Although today's knowledge provides new perspectives of Scopoli's work on mercurialism, his work is still very important and can be considered an integral part of occupational medicine heritage.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.535-547. Illus. 95 ref.
Rees D., Murray J., Nelson G., Sonnenberg P.
Oscillating migration and the epidemics of silicosis, tuberculosis, and HIV infection in South African gold miners
Hundreds of thousands of men from rural areas of South Africa and neighbouring countries have come to seek work in the gold mines. They are not immigrants in the usual sense as they work for periods in the mines, go home, and then return. This is termed oscillating or circular migration. Today, there exist serious interrelated epidemics of silicosis, tuberculosis, and HIV infection in the gold mining industry. This article discusses the role of oscillating migration in fuelling these epidemics, by examining the historical, political, social and economic contexts of these diseases.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.398-404. Illus. 46 ref.
Staying safe in the jungles of Borneo: Five studies of fatigue and cultural issues in remote mining projects
The global mining industry keeps expanding, and projects are often started in areas previously considered too remote. Due to worker beliefs about safety, and the diversity of cultures in remote projects, the measurement and management of human fatigue is complex. This article reports on five studies from mining companies in a region of Indonesia, where workers had died in likely fatigue-related accidents. Mixed-method approaches, involving qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative measures were used. Findings are discussed. It is concluded that interaction of cultures, stress, sleep, fatigue, safety and individual differences must be more effectively addressed in remote mining camps.
Industrial Health, July 2010, Vol.48, No.4, p.406-415. Illus. 21 ref.
Staying_safe.pdf [in English]
Hall E.E., Margolis K.A.
Emergency escape and refuge alternatives - Instructor guide and lesson plan
This guide was created by a multidisciplinary team to teach miners of underground mines about emergency escape and using refuge chambers. The training is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and is intended for group-based training. It is designed to be used as a template for mine instructors to modify based on the refuge alternatives and specifics of their mine. Refuge chambers may be new to miners. They consist of portable chambers that are either made of steel or are tents that inflate from a steel skid. They provide water, food, toilet, breathable air, and a seal to protect occupants from the outside environment for at least 96 hours, or four days.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Oct. 2010. Internet document, PDF format, 11p. Illus.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2011-101.pdf [in English]
Patterson J.M., Shappell S.A.
Operator error and system deficiencies: Analysis of 508 mining incidents and accidents from Queensland, Australia using HFACS
A modified version of the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) was used to analyze mining industry incident and accident cases from across the state of Queensland to identify human factor trends and system deficiencies within the mining sector. An analysis of the data revealed that skill-based errors were the most common unsafe act and showed no significant differences across mine types. However, decision errors did vary across mine types. Findings for unsafe acts were consistent across the time period examined.
Accident Analysis and Prevention, July 2010, Vol.42, No.4, p.1379-1385. Illus. 16 ref.
Jonsson H., Bergdahl I.A., Åkerblom G., Eriksson K., Andersson K., Kågström L., Järvholm B., Damber L.
Lung cancer risk and radon exposure in a cohort of iron ore miners in Malmberget, Sweden
Lung cancer caused by radon in miners is a well-known risk. However, the risk estimates vary between studies and between mines. This study evaluates the dose response-relationship in a Swedish iron ore mine for which two earlier studies had reached different risk estimates. As this mine has relatively low radon levels, the results are highly relevant for risk estimation in non-uranium underground mines. A new cohort of 5486 male workers employed from 1923 to 1996 was established. Cumulative radon exposures were assessed based on a large number of measurements, including reconstructions of historical conditions. 122 lung cancer cases occurred during the follow-up period of 1958-2000. The average cumulative exposure in underground workers was 32 kBq year/m3h (65 working level months (WLM)), experienced over 14.6 years. The excess RR (ERR) per kBq year/m3h was 0.046. Confounding by quartz may affect these results but appears to account only for 10-20% of the risk. The results for squamous cell and small cell lung cancer were 0.049 and 0.072, respectively. However, no increased risk was observed for adenocarcinoma. The overall risk estimate is about half of that found in the first study for this mine but twice that found in the same cohort in the previously published pooled analysis. Radon did not increase the risk for adenocarcinoma in the lung.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.67, No.8, p.519-525. Illus. 19 ref.
Bergdahl I.A., Jonsson H., Eriksson K., Damber L., Järvholm B.
Lung cancer and exposure to quartz and diesel exhaust in Swedish iron ore miners with concurrent exposure to radon
Studies of underground miners have documented an increased risk of lung cancer mainly linked to radon exposure but possibly influenced by other concurrent exposures. A cohort study was carried out in 8321 iron ore miners with low exposure to radon, employed from 1923 to 1998 and followed up for lung cancer from 1958 to 2000. Historical exposures to radon, crystalline silica and diesel exhaust were assessed. Data including exposure to radon, quartz and diesel exhaust from another mine with higher exposure to radon were reanalysed. Miners had increased risk for lung cancer (SIR 1.48) based on 112 cases during 227,000 person-years. The increased risk could not be explained by exposure to radon or diesel exhaust but was associated with increasing exposure to crystalline silica: SIR 0.96, 1.45, 1.99 and 1.77 in groups with exposure to 0, 0-2, 2-5 and >5 mg years/m@3h, respectively. Reanalysis of data from the other mine indicated that quartz was a possible confounder in the analysis of the relationship between radon and lung cancer. In the highest radon exposed group, the point estimate for the RR decreased from 5.65 to 3.90 when adjusting for concurrent exposure to quartz. It is concluded that crystalline silica, a known carcinogen, probably affects lung cancer risk in iron ore miners. The main implication of the results is for interpretation of the dose-response curve for radon and lung cancer in underground iron ore miners. Since exposure to radon and quartz is often correlated, quartz exposure can be an important confounder.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.67, No.8, p.513-518. 15 ref.
Larson T.C., Antao V.C., Bove F.J.
Vermiculite worker mortality: Estimated effects of occupational exposure to Libby amphibole
The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between cumulative fibre exposure (CFE) and mortality in a cohort of 1862 vermiculite workers exposed to Libby amphibole. Extended Cox regression was used to estimate the hazards associated with CFE as a time-dependent covariate of multiple-cause mortality. The Cox models for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and non-malignant respiratory disease were significant with rate ratios that increased monotonically with CFE. The model for deaths due to cardiovascular disease was also significant. By using a within-cohort comparison, the results demonstrate a clear exposure-response relationship between CFE and mortality from asbestos-related causes. The finding of an association between CFE and cardiovascular mortality suggests persons exposed to Libby amphibole should be monitored for this outcome.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2010, Vol.52, No.5, p.555-560. 34 ref.
Mine safety and health at a glance
Safety and health in America's mining industry made significant strides during the 20th century and over the last 25 years in particular. In 1978, the first year the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operated under the new Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (CIS 89-351), 242 miners died in mining accidents. In 2009, a record low 34 fatalities were reported. This document presents the health and safety statistics of the mining industry in the United States (all mines, coal mines, and metal and nonmetal mines).
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209-3939, USA, 2010. HTML Document. Illus.
Mine_safety_and_health.pdf [in English]
Morfeld P., Noll B., Büchte S.F., Derwall R., Schenk V., Bicker H., Lenaerts H., Schrader N., Dahmann D.
Effect of dust exposure and nitrogen oxides on lung function parameters of German coalminers: A longitudinal study applying GEE regression 1974-1998
Workplace limits for dust and nitrogen oxides are under review in Germany and the European Union. This longitudinal cohort study of German coal miners was conducted to determine the effects of exposure on lung function. Miners who began working underground at two coal mines between 1974 and 1979 were followed up until 1998. Data included the number of shifts worked underground, the exposure to coal mine dust, quartz dust and nitrogen oxides, smoking behaviour and lung function parameters. General estimation equation (GEE) models were fitted. The effect of dust exposure on lung function described in older British and American coal miner studies was not confirmed. This can be explained partly by differences in methods but also by lower dust levels. Nitrogen oxide exposures showed no relevant influence on lung function, confirming findings from studies in British coal mining.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2010, Vol.83, No.4, p.357-371. Illus. 67 ref.
Van Houtven G., Reed W.R., Biddle E.A., Volkwein J.C., Clayton L., Finkelstein E.
Rates and costs of respiratory illness in coal mining: A cross-industry comparative analysis
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and costs of respiratory illness for workers in coal mining, compared with other industries in the United States. Using 5 years of insurance claims data for an annual average of 96,240 adult males, the probability and costs of respiratory illness was modelled as a function of workers' industry and other factors. Controlling for non-industry factors, workers in coal mining had significantly higher rates of respiratory illness claims (by 2.1% to 3.3% points) compared with other mining, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. For coal mining workers with respiratory illness, annual medical care costs for these claims were also significantly higher (by USD 111 to 289). These findings underscore the continued importance and potential cost effectiveness of measures to protect miners from harmful occupational exposures, particularly to coal dust.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2010, Vol.52, No.6, p.610-617. 12 ref.
Ghasemi E., Shahriar K., Sharifzadeh M.
A new method for risk assessment of pillar recovery operation
Safe pillar recovery operations can result in better miner safety and more efficient recovery of ore reserves. The most important technical parameters influencing the safety of pillar recovery are reviewed. A method for assessing the overall risk of pillar recovery operations in pre-developed room and pillar mines, by combining all these parameters, is described and applied to a mine in Iran.
Safety Science, Dec. 2010, Vol.48, No.10, p.1304-1312. Illus. 24 ref.
Paech G.M., Jay S.M., Lamond N., Roach G.D., Ferguson S.A.
The effects of different roster schedules on sleep in miners
Shiftwork involving early morning starts and night work can affect both sleep and fatigue. This study aimed to assess the impact of different shift schedules at an Australian mine site on sleep duration and subjective sleep quality. Participants worked one of four types of roster. Sleep (wrist actigraphy and sleep diaries) was monitored for a full roster cycle including days off. Total sleep time (TST) was longer on days off compared to sleep when on day and nightshifts. Despite an increase in TST on days off, this may be insufficient to recover from the severe sleep restriction occurring during work times. Restricted sleep and quick shift-change periods may lead to long-term sleep loss and associated fatigue.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.600-606. Illus. 50 ref.
Burgess-Limerick R., Krupenia V., Zupanc C., Wallis G., Steiner L.
Reducing control selection errors associated with underground bolting equipment
Selecting the incorrect control during the operation of underground bolting and drilling equipment causes serious injuries. Shape coding and the layout of dual control banks are two aspects of control design which require further examination. The aims of this research were to determine whether arbitrary shape coding was effective in reducing selection error rates in a virtual analogy of roof-bolting and to determine whether any advantages exist for mirror or place layouts for dual control situations in this situation. Two experiments were conducted to address these questions. No benefits of arbitrary shape coding were evident while control location remained constant. When control location was altered, shape coding did provide a significant reduction in selection error rate. No differences between mirror or place arrangements were detected and this question remains open.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.549-555. Illus. 19 ref.
Reducing_control_selection_errors.pdf [in English]
Deacon T., Amyotte P.R., Khan F.I.
Human error risk analysis in offshore emergencies
Human factors play an important role in the completion of emergency procedures. Human factors analysis is rooted in the concept that humans make errors, and the frequency and consequences of these errors are related to work environment, work culture and procedures. This can be accounted for in the design of equipment, structures, processes, and procedures. As stress increases, the likelihood of human error also increases. Offshore installations are among the harshest and most stressful work environments. The consequences of human error in an offshore emergency can be severe. A method has been developed to evaluate the risk of human error during offshore emergency musters. Based on consequences from past incidents in the offshore industry and probabilities of human error, the level of risk and its tolerability are determined. Using the ARAMIS (accidental risk assessment methodology for industries) approach to safety barrier analysis, a protocol for choosing and evaluating safety measures to reduce and re-assess the risk was developed. The method is assessed using a case study, the Ocean Odyssey incident, to determine its effectiveness. The results of the methodology agree with the analysis of survivor experiences of the Ocean Odyssey incident.
Safety Science, July 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.803-818. Illus. 18 ref.
Risk indicators for major hazards on offshore installations
Major hazards risk indicators are proposed for offshore installations, based on what has been used by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway for the Risk Level approach in the Norwegian offshore petroleum industry. Since 2002, leading indicators are also used, in the sense that indicators for barrier performance are included together with the lagging indicators. The purpose of this paper is to recommend how indicators may be used by individual companies and installations in an efficient manner, based on the extensive experience in the field of major hazard risk.
Safety Science, July 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.770-787. Illus. 33 ref.
Porter W., Gallagher S., Torma-Krajewski J.
Analysis of applied forces and electromyography of back and shoulders muscles when performing a simulated hand scaling task
Hand scaling is a physically-demanding task responsible for numerous overexertion injuries in underground mining. It requires the miner to use a long pry bar to remove loose rock, reducing the likelihood of rock fall injuries. The experiments described in this article simulated "rib" scaling (scaling a mine wall) from an elevated bucket to examine force generation and electromyographic responses using two types of scaling bars (steel and fiberglass-reinforced aluminum) at five target heights ranging from floor level to 176 cm. Ten male and six female subjects were tested in separate experiments. Peak and average force applied at the scaling bar tip and normalized electromyography of the left and right pairs of the deltoid and erectores spinae muscles were obtained. Findings are discussed.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.411-416. Illus. 12 ref.
Analysis_of_applied_forces.pdf [in English]
The Newsletter of the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI)
Contents of this annual newsletter of the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI): President's letter; review of the IALI congress and other conferences held during 2009; global code of integrity for labour inspection; assessment of labour inspectorates' performance; developing working methods for technical evaluations and alliances; labour administration as a tool of good governance; Luxembourg project for enhancing capacity of occupational safety and health training in Vietnam; strategy of French labour inspection with regard to foreign services suppliers; United Kingdom process safety standards; labour inspection system in China; Luxembourg declaration on workplace health promotion in the European Union; cooperation with international partners in the Republic of Srpska; safe company programme in the Czech Republic; new practice in labour inspection in Poland; HSE initiative to prevent slips and trips; role of occupational risk assessment in improving the quality of working conditions; campaign against deaths on construction sites; construction site, mines and dockworks inspection in Cyprus; developing a safety and health culture among engineering students in Luxembourg.
International Association of Labour Inspection, IALI Secretariat, Inspection du Travail et des Mines, BP 27, 2010 Luxembourg, 2009. 40p. Illus.
http://www.iali-aiit.org/iali/download/IALIForum_2009_en.pdf [in English]
http://www.iali-aiit.org/iali/download/IALIForum_2009_fr.pdf [in French]
http://www.iali-aiit.org/iali/download/IALIForum_2009_es.pdf [in Spanish]
State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Social Security Association (ISSA), International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI)
The 5th China International Forum on Work Safety - Speakers and abstracts
List of authors and abstracts of papers presented at a conference on occupational safety held in Beijing, China, from 31 August to 2 September 2010 (see ISN 110689).
National Center for International Cooperation on Work Safety, Room 409 Hepingli Beijie, Dongcheng District, Beijing, P.R. China, 2010. 216p. Illus.
State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Social Security Association (ISSA), International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI)
The 5th China International Forum on Work Safety - Proceedings
Transliterate Chinese title please [in Chinese]
Proceedings of a conference on occupational safety held in Beijing, China, from 31 August to 2 September 2010. Papers are grouped under the following headings: new practices and development of OSH; economic policies and investment in work safety; identification of potential risks in metallic and non-metallic underground mines; work safety promotion plans and promotion of new technologies in work safety; gas control in coal mines; disaster prevention, reduction and emergency rescue; risk assessment in mining companies; perfection of laws, regulation and standards in work safety; construction safety; safety evaluation and certification; on-site testing technologies of occupational hazards; corporate safety culture; OSH management in SMEs; new approaches of labor inspection; improvement of research and development capabilities and policies in work safety; technology development and application of personal protection equipments; training and education in work safety; monitoring of major hazards and treatment of hidden hazards.
National Center for International Cooperation on Work Safety, Room 409 Hepingli Beijie, Dongcheng District, Beijing, P.R. China, 2010. 691p. Illus.
Stone tiles and decorative stones - A guide for importers, suppliers and tilers
Many tiles and decorative stones contain significant amounts of silica and other minerals that may pose serious health risks. This leaflet contains guidance on safe work procedures aimed at limiting workers' exposure to airborne silica and mineral dust (wet cutting methods, respirators, exhaust ventilation, cleaning and maintenance of work clothing).
Commission for occupational safety and health, 1260 Hay Street, PO Box 294, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia, 2010. PDF document, 2p. Illus.
http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe/PDF/Guides/importers_of_stone_tiles.pdf [in English]
Ouellet S., Ledoux E., Cloutier E., Fournier P.A.
Conditions for the integration of new workers into the mining sector: An exploratory study
Conditions d'intégration des nouveaux travailleurs dans le secteur minier - Une étude exploratoire [in French]
Based on observations carried out in two mining companies, this report addresses the issue of induction training in occupational safety and health aimed at newly-hired workers. In this sector, the transmission of job know-how is essentially based on the goodwill and communication skills of experienced workers, as well as on working conditions. However some of these conditions can have a negative impact on the transmission of know-how, as for example, cramped vehicle cabs, which prevent the new operator from being accompanied. Furthermore, it is not always easy for experienced workers to verbalize certain knowledge that has become automatic. The report concludes that in-depth analyses of the conditions for knowledge integration and transmission are necessary in order to propose practical solutions to companies.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2010. v, 28p. Illus. 75 ref. Price: CAD 6.30. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-650.pdf [in French]
Do you work in a quarry? A simple guide to the Quarries Regulations 1999
This revised booklet explains the main requirements of the Quarries Regulations 1999 (see CIS 00-1224) and provides practical guidance to improve safety and health in the quarrying industry. There is more detailed information in the Approved Code of Practice and guidance (see CIS 01-1291), for which a new edition is due later in 2010. Contents: operators; contractors; health and safety document; training and competence; controlling risks; inspection and maintenance; danger areas; barriers to discourage trespass.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, May 2010. 11p. Illus. 13 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg303.pdf [in English]
Torma-Krajewski J., Wiehagen W., Etcheverry A., Turin F., Unger R.
Using ergonomics to enhance safe production at a surface coal mine - A case study with powder crews
Job tasks that involve exposure to work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk factors may impact both the risk of injury and production downtime. Common WMSD risks factors associated with mining tasks include forceful exertions, awkward postures, repetitive motion, jolting and jarring, forceful gripping, contact stress, and whole body and segmental vibration. Mining environments that expose workers to temperature/humidity extremes, windy conditions, and slippery and uneven walking surfaces also contribute to injury risk. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers worked with powder crew members from a coal mining company to identify and rank routine work tasks based on perceived exposure to WMSD risk factors. This article presents the process followed to identify tasks that workers believed involved the greatest exposure to risk factors and discusses risk reduction strategies. Specifically, the proposed prill truck design changes addressed cab ingress/egress, loading blast holes and access to the upper deck of the prill truck.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Oct. 2009, Vol.6, No.10, p.D55-D62. 4 ref.
Using_ergonomics.pdf [in English]
Easterbrook A., Brough P.
Health and Safety Executive
Silica baseline survey
The overall objective of this project was to establish employee exposures and the control of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in four United Kingdom sectors: brick and tile manufacture, stonemasonry, quarrying and construction. More specifically, the objectives were: to establish whether engineering controls and the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) were adequate to reduce exposures below the workplace exposure limit (WEL) for RCS; to assess the reliability of the exposure controls; to identify common causes of failures of exposure controls; to provide data against which the effect of HSE interventions could be assessed in future. Findings are discussed.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. viii, 59p. 17 ref.
RR_689.pdf [in English]
Torma-Krajewski J., Wiehagen W., Etcheverry A., Turin F., Unger R.
Using ergonomics to enhance safe production at a surface coal mine - A case study with powder crews
Job tasks that involve exposure to work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk factors may impact both the risk of injury and production downtime. Common WMSD risks factors associated with mining tasks include forceful exertions, awkward postures, repetitive motion, jolting and jarring, forceful gripping, contact stress, and whole body and segmental vibration. Mining environments that expose workers to temperature/humidity extremes, windy conditions, and slippery or uneven walking surfaces also contribute to injury risk. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers worked with powder crew members from a coal company to identify and rank routine work tasks based on perceived exposure to WMSD risk factors. This article presents the process followed to identify tasks that workers believed involved the greatest exposure to risk factors and discusses risk reduction strategies.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Oct. 2009, Vol.6, p.D55-D62. 4 ref.
Using_ergonomics.pdf [in English]
Zubieta I.X., Brown G., Cohen R., Medina E.
Cananea copper mine - An international effort to improve hazardous working conditions in Mexico
A team of international occupational safety and health professionals evaluated the working conditions and health status of miners at a giant open-pit copper mine in Cananea, Mexico. Workers in the ore processing plants were exposed to levels of crystalline silica 10 times the Mexican regulatory limit, high levels of acid mist and noise, and numerous safety hazards, including unguarded machinery and malfunctioning 10- and 15-ton cranes. Lung function testing and interviews with physicians showed a substantial percentage of miners with adverse respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath (46%), wheezing (12%), coughing (12%) and elevated sputum production (10%). The mine owner, Grupo Mexico, violated Mexican law by failing to conduct an industrial hygiene survey sufficient to identify, evaluate and control health hazards including exposure to mineral dust (including silica), acid mists, airborne solvents, high noise levels, high vibration levels and extreme temperatures.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan.-Mar. 2009, Vol.15, No.1, p.14-20. Illus. 16 ref.
Cananea_copper_mine.pdf [in English]
Prevention and control of risks in the marble industry
Prevenção e controle dos riscos presentes em marmorarias [in Portuguese]
This article reviews the risks inherent to the tasks carried out in marble cutting operations, together with the appropriate preventive measures. Contents: summary of the various occupational safety and health projects undertaken in Brazil since 1988; effects of silica exposure in marble operations; control and preventive measures; exposure to chemical and physical agents (noise, vibration); ergonomic risks; personal protective equipment to be supplied by the employer; refresher training as a means of prevention; periodical medical examinations; retracing the history of the working conditions in the marble-cutting sector in Brazil; activities of the marble industry technical group established in 2004.
Revista CIPA, Aug. 2009, Vol.30, No.357, p.30-53. Illus.
Pira E., Pelucchi C., Piolatto P.G., Negri E., Bilei T., La Vecchia C.
Mortality from cancer and other causes in the Balangero cohort of chrysotile asbestos miners
The objective of this study was to provide further information on mortality from cancer and other causes among chrysotile asbestos miners several years after exposure ceased, updating the analyses from the Balangero mine worker cohort with follow-up to the end of 2003. The cohort included 1056 men, for a total of 34,432 man-years of observation. Employment data were obtained from personnel records, the vital status and causes of death were obtained through population registers and death certificates from municipal registration offices. Expected numbers of deaths and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed for relevant causes using the province of Turin and national death rates, for each 5-year calendar period and age group. Significant excess mortality was found from pleural cancer only (4 deaths, SMR 4.67) and pleural and peritoneal cancers combined (5 deaths, SMR 3.16). All pleural and peritoneal cancer deaths occurred 30 or more years after first exposure. The SMRs were 1.27 for lung cancer (45 deaths), 1.82 for laryngeal cancer (8 deaths) and 1.12 for all cancers (142 deaths). Cumulative dust exposure and the various time factors considered did not show a clear pattern of risk associated with mortality from lung cancer. There were 57 deaths from cirrhosis (SMR 2.94) and 54 from accidents and violence (SMR 1.88). Overall, 590 deaths were observed as compared to 412.9 expected (SMR 1.43).
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2009, Vol.66, No.12, p.805-809. 33 ref.
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