Materials Handling Accident Reduction In Underground Mines - Synopsis
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Materials Handling Accident Reduction In Underground Mines - Synopsis

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    Handling materials in underground mines continues to be a major safety problem. To help reduce materials-handling injuries, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Spokane Research Laboratory is developing, modifying, and testing equipment to replace the necessity of doing lifting tasks manually. To reduce single-event lift injuries, equipment having mechanical automatic weight sensing and balancing control was investigated. The Coleman manipulator was selected for testing. Modifications to the Coleman manipulator to make it more suitable for underground mine use included mobilization, self-containment, all-purpose gripper attachment, and support jacks. To reduce or eliminate the need to clean off manually the materials that commonly plug grizzly openings (timbers, wire mesh, roof bolts, and other debris), a track-guided pincher arm device was developed. The TGPA attaches to an impact hammer head, and the pincher arms are controlled by the operator of the hammer. Oversized rock can be broken with the pincher arms in the up position; the arms can then be lowered to grab and remove debris. Sweeping action to remove cohesive fines bridging grizzly openings is also greatly improved. This device is especially useful in recessed grizzlies. An industrial gun was tested to evaluate its effectiveness in breaking oversized rock. Boulders up to 76 cm in diameter were successfully broken to minus-33 cm. Although methods to control fly rock need to be developed, an industrial gun may be a safe and inexpensive alternative to breaking oversized rock in certain underground mining situations.
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