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Introduction of Innovative Equipment in Mining: Impact on Occupational Health and Safety

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DOI: 10.4236/ojsst.2014.41007    5,236 Downloads   7,957 Views   Citations


Occupational health and safety in mining has clearly improved in developed countries over the past twenty years, but accidents and illness still occur with unacceptable frequency. The arrival of new mining equipment, bigger, more powerful and complex and requiring a higher skill level appears also to increase certain specific risks of accident and work-related illness. The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of new equipment on occupational health and safety in underground mining. The injury rate associated with eight equipment introduction projects was examined. The results show clearly that the introduction of new equipment with technological innovations does not automatically reduce the injury rate. The new equipment may even generate a higher injury rate than the equipment it replaced. Ergonomic deficiencies were noted in some of the new equipment. We suggest that future research focus on identifying the mechanisms and conditions that determine injury rate following the acquisition of innovative as means of improving occupational health and safety in mining. Successful implementation of new mining equipment appears to depend on the specific conditions of use.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Boudreau-Trudel, B. , Nadeau, S. , Zaras, K. and Deschamps, I. (2014) Introduction of Innovative Equipment in Mining: Impact on Occupational Health and Safety. Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, 4, 49-58. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2014.41007.


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