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Hazard Recognition Training Program For Construction, Maintenance And Repair Activities - Introduction
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  • Description:
    Many miners are involved in tasks at the mine site that are similar to those sub-tasks performed in general construction, maintenance and repair (CMR) type work activities. As a result, many of the injuries in the mining industry today can be traced to employees performing these CMR type work activities. Indeed, a recent analysis of a major aggregate company revealed that 65% of all injuries documented originated from performing such CMR activities. It is hypothesized that the number of injuries to miners performing construction, maintenance and repair (CMR) work activities on mine property may be reduced through improved training that focuses on better hazard recognition using the numerous visual and other cues that are available for evaluating workplace health and safety hazards. To this end, researchers at NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Research Laboratory have merged two proven methods of training miners to recognize hazards, stereoscopic (3-D) slides and the concept of degraded images, into this training program. Stereoscopic (3-D) slides have been shown in earlier NIOSH and U.S. Bureau of Mines research to be an effective training aid for improving the ability of miners to recognize various geologic and mining-induced irregularities that can cause groundfalls.3 They realistically portray the natural mine environment, and thus are an excellent training aid for teaching miners to recognize such visual cues. The degraded image concept, originally developed by the military and used for target detection training, describes scenes where the target is partially hidden by cloud cover, dust, rain, natural barriers, buildings, or other obstructions that can camouflage or confuse the target. Research had shown that flight observers who were trained with less than ideal (or degraded) pictures were more successful in subsequent identification of targets than those trained using ideal (or highlighted) pictures of targets. In order to investigate this concept for training miners to recognize hazards, NIOSH researchers developed a prototype hazard recognition training program using such mining scenes. A control program based on traditional highlighted mining scenes was also developed. Both programs were applied to subjects in a field experiment. Results indicated that miners trained with the degraded images did significantly better on a follow-up test of hazard recognition.4 This hazard recognition program teaches trainees to look for hazards in a more realistic manner than that of the control program. This specific training program for CMR activities involves using the degraded image concept and 3-D slides. The module is designed to educate workers on hazard identification techniques and safe work practices. It focuses on teaching miners techniques for recognizing visual (sight) cues, and then uses these cues to evaluate mining conditions. It should be stressed that other senses, such as sound can also play an important role in hazard detection.

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