Practical Ergonomics In Mechanized Mining

Schutte, P. C.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The objective of ergonomics is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency with which human tasks are carried out. Furthermore, the objective is to improve desirable human values. This can be achieved by enhancing safety, reducing fatigue and stress, increasing comfort, increasing job satisfaction, having greater user acceptance and thereby improving the quality of life. Mechanization has influenced the prevalence of injury, mainly due to the application of human physical effort as the power source. With mechanization, the operator?s function is now essentially one of control rather than being an energy source, however, the risk of injury has not diminished. Mechanization in itself has introduced inefficiencies, health risks and physiological stress. The major objectives of ergonomics are discussed through examples of acceptable and less successful implementation of ergonomics within mechanized mining. The influence of the machine system on the human is addressed and practical solutions to improve and optimize the interaction of the human and the machine are outlined. Furthermore, practical examples of control and display integration, anthropometric and biomechanic influences on design, orientation, posture and stereotypes are used to accentuate the advantages of the application of sound ergonomics principles to the specialized area of mechanized mining.
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