The Effect on the Production of Bantu, Engaged on Tram-Shovelling, of Different Temperature Conditons

Morrison, J. F. ; Wyndham, C. H. ; Viljoen, J. H.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Unavailable
SYNOPSIS Heart rates, oral temperatures, shovels/min and number of 3/4 ton cars/hour trammed over distances of up to 350 ft were measured in samples of 6-10 miners, engaged in tram-shovelling, at 76°, 84°, 86°, and 89°F wet bulb temperatures in stopes in a mine. From the results it has been concluded that a man with an 'average' maximum oxygen intake capacity of about 2. 8 litres/min should be able to work: at 6 shovels/min, or 30 cars/shift per two men, at 76°-84°F; at 5 shovels/min, or 27 cars/shift per two men, at 86°F; and at 4 shovels/min, or 24 cars/shift per two men, at 89°F wet bulb air temperatures. INTRODUCTION A number of gold mines in South Africa still use tram-shovelling extensively. In this method of rock removal from the face of the stope, Bantu mine workers load rock into cars and tram the cars to a centre gulley where they are emptied. Previous studies from this Laboratory3 have shown that tram-shovelling is one of the most arduous tasks underground. The rate of energy expenditure is relatively high, being an oxygen consumption of about 1.4 litres/min over a period of some hours. In cool air conditions the upper limit to the rate of production of the well-motivated men employed on tram-shovelling has been shown1 to depend upon their capacities for physical work of an endurance nature (as measured by their maximum oxygen intakes). However, in hot conditions the factors which set the upper limit to the rate of production are different. They are primarily the ability of the body to maintain a heat balance between the rate of heat production, due to physical work, and the hot atmosphere, so that the men do not develop excessively high body temperatures8. In order to give mine managers guidance on the 'optimum' rate of production of Bantu mine workers engaged upon tram-shovelling under different temperature conditions underground a study was carried out in a mine. The number of shovels per minute and cars per hour were recorded and heart rates and oral temperatures were measured throughout the duration of the shift on samples of 6-10 Bantu mine workers in different air conditions. The results of the study are recorded in this paper and conclusions are drawn as to the number of shovels per minute and cars per hour which Bantu mine workers of 'average' maximum oxygen intake capacity should be able to produce at wet bulb air temperatures of between 76° and 89°F without either excessive fatigue or danger of heat illness.
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