Operators of mining equipment are exposed to high amplitude whole-body vibration. This exposure is strongly associated with the subsequent development of back pain and other adverse health effects. Managing these exposures requires systematic and regular measurement of vibration amplitudes as part of a comprehensive whole-body vibration management plan, however current “gold-standard” measurement devices are expensive and complex. An extensive program of work has been conducted on the measurement and management of whole-body vibration exposures associated with surface and underground coal mining equipment. The initial projects undertaken with funding from Coal Services Health and Safety Trust and the Australian Coal Association Research Program involved the development and validation of a iOS application (WBV) which enables the use of a iPod Touch as an inexpensive and simple means of measuring and evaluating whole-body vibration exposures. Subsequent projects have focussed on providing a comprehensive assessment of vibration exposures at surface and underground coal mines. Current projects are: (i) evaluating methods for reducing vibration exposures at underground coal mines; and (ii) developing new software to enable continuous real-time measurement and monitoring of vibration at surface coal mines. (ergonomics.uq.edu.au/wbv)

*New* ACARP whole-body vibration project with Peabody

This project is a collaboration between SMI and the EAIT Faculty and Peabody Coal Australia. The project will develop, demonstrate, and evaluate iOS and server software to allow continuous monitoring and analysis of earth-moving equipment operator vibration exposures.