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Fall from equipment injuries in U. S. mining: Identification of specific research areas for future investigation

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    Introduction: The objective of this study was to evaluate the circumstances leading to fall from equipment injuries in the mining industry. Method: The 2006 and 2007 Mine Safety and Health Administration annual injury databases were utilized for this study whereby the injury narrative, nature of injury, body part injured, mine type, age at injury, and days lost were evaluated for each injury. Results: The majority of injuries occurred at surface mining facilities (~60%) with fractures and sprains/strains being the most common injuries occurring to the major joints of the body. Nearly 50% of injuries occurred during ingress/egress, predominately during egress, and approximately 25% of injuries occurred during maintenance tasks. The majority of injuries occurred in relation to large trucks, wheel loaders, dozers, and conveyors/belts. The severity of injury was independent of age and the median days lost was seven days; however, there was a large range in severity. Impact on industry: From the data obtained in this study, several different research areas have been identified for future work, which include balance and stability control when descending ladders and equipment design for maintenance tasks.
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