WSN brings together safety community for two mining symposiums this November

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Mining underground mobile equipmentWSN hosted two back-to-back symposiums for the mining industry this November: Health of a Miner and Pedestrian-Vehicle Interaction. The symposiums both took place in Sudbury and allowed for members of Ontario’s mining industry, academia, and suppliers to gather, hear, and discuss mining-specific best practices, research developments and product innovations. 

Health of a Miner

The Health of a Miner symposium, hosted on Nov. 12, focused on musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention, vibration-induced injuries, line-of-sight issues in the underground, the implications of fatigue, and benefits of good nutrition. 

The day opened with WSN Ergonomic Health Specialist, Jo-Anne Hurd, leading a MSD Prevention Workshop that focused on a simple but effective tool for identifying high-risk MSD hazards in workplace tasks. Glencore discussed how their partnership with Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMERST) helped integrate MSD prevention into the design and operation of their mobile equipment.

The Centre for Research and Occupational Health and Safety (CROSH) presented two research papers to symposium delegates: what companies need to know to prevent vibration-induced injuries; and the critical human factors to be considered in the design of mobile equipment, including seat design, line-of-sight, and the cab’s ingress and egress.

The day ended with two important talks on nutrition and fatigue, with simple tips to improve both, and the substantial rewards gained by altering diet and sleep patterns for the better.

Pedestrian-Vehicle Interaction

The second symposium, hosted on Nov. 13, called attention to the continuing problem of pedestrian and vehicle contact in the underground, often with critical and fatal consequences. Rick Banting, WSN Electrical-Mechanical Specialist, drew attention to industry statistics: From 2009 to 2014, powered haulage accounted for 19 critical and four fatal injuries in Ontario’s mining operations. 

CROSH presented research depicting the extremely limited line-of-sight from the operator’s compartment in underground mobile equipment. A second presentation discussed how cab design influences an operator’s information-processing abilities, as well as the potential for distraction, and demands on fatigue.

Numerous suppliers presented camera and proximity-detection technologies to enhance lines-of-sight, all with the end goal of preventing collisions between mobile equipment and pedestrians.

The Ministry of Labour discussedinitiatives related to underground collision avoidance including its recently released high-visibility safety apparel guideline. 

Presentations from the symposiums can be found at

Health of Miner Symposium presentations

Pedestrian-Vehicle Interaction Symposium presentations