11
Review of Traumatic Injury Prevention Research

Key Findings and Recommendations for Traumatic Injury Prevention Research

  • High-priority areas have been addressed through activities that generated new knowledge and technology.

  • The Mining Program should increase the amount of new technology development that targets mining-specific issues in traumatic injury prevention.

  • The traumatic injury prevention research group should proactively analyze mining trends for new safety issues.

  • Education, training, and technology transfer techniques need to be evaluated to have the greatest impact.

  • Attention is needed in the areas of automatic and remote control technologies.

STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Reducing injuries and hazards that cause traumatic injuries are important elements of the ideal mining health and safety research program discussed in Chapter 3. Trauma is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, 2006e) as


an injury or wound to a living body caused by the application of external force or violence. Acute trauma can occur with the sudden, one-time application of force or violence that causes immediate damage to a living body.


One of the Mining Program’s seven strategic goals is to reduce traumatic injuries in the workplace. The performance measure for this goal is a 30 percent reduction in traumatic injuries by 2014 from the 2003 baseline. The Mining Program intends to reach this goal by carrying out research activities addressing the



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 11 Review of Traumatic Injury Prevention Research Key Findings and Recommendations for Traumatic Injury Prevention Research High-priority areas have been addressed through activities that generated new knowledge and technology. The Mining Program should increase the amount of new technology development that targets mining-specific issues in traumatic injury prevention. The traumatic injury prevention research group should proactively analyze mining trends for new safety issues. Education, training, and technology transfer techniques need to be evaluated to have the greatest impact. Attention is needed in the areas of automatic and remote control technologies. STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Reducing injuries and hazards that cause traumatic injuries are important elements of the ideal mining health and safety research program discussed in Chapter 3. Trauma is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, 2006e) as an injury or wound to a living body caused by the application of external force or violence. Acute trauma can occur with the sudden, one-time application of force or violence that causes immediate damage to a living body. One of the Mining Program’s seven strategic goals is to reduce traumatic injuries in the workplace. The performance measure for this goal is a 30 percent reduction in traumatic injuries by 2014 from the 2003 baseline. The Mining Program intends to reach this goal by carrying out research activities addressing the

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health five intermediate goals listed in Table 11-1. The strategic goal of reducing traumatic injuries is straightforward and well defined. All five intermediate goals are achievable. In 2006, NIOSH conducted workshops for the second decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA-2) and identified equipment accidents, automation, and training effectiveness as priorities—areas already included in the intermediate goals for traumatic injury prevention research within the Mining Program. Ground failure control research is a separate research area within the Mining Program. There were 55 fatalities, 8,183 non-fatal-days lost (NFDL) injuries, and 3,867 no days lost (NDL) injuries reported in 2004 (MSHA, 2006). The need for continued reduction of traumatic injuries is evident. Based on MSHA statistics, powered haulage, machinery, and materials handling are specific areas that require attention. With changes in mining technology and equipment size, traumatic injury prevention is likely to demand more attention. The traumatic injury prevention research group, however, lacks the leadership that facilitates the development of new technologies. Research is essentially applied and stems from new technologies developed by other NIOSH programs; thus, research on traumatic injuries has been limited and does not allow the Mining Program to adequately address immediate mining-specific problems. REVIEW OF INPUTS Major planning input for traumatic injury prevention research comes from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in the form of accident and injury data. Other sources of planning input include other federal agencies (e.g., directives from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] as they adhere to guidance from federal advisory groups), stakeholders (e.g., labor unions, trade organizations), academia, and state agencies. The number of personnel working on traumatic injuries ranged from a high of 70 in 1998 to a low of 37 in 2005, with approximately $40 million in total expenditures. During that time, discretionary expenditures ranged from $778,000 to $350,000, and funding for traumatic injury prevention research decreased by 21 percent. In the same period, NIOSH funding increased by 20 percent and full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) decreased by 8 percent. Compared to the overall Mining Program, traumatic injury prevention research has experienced large changes in funding and FTEs. Changes may be due to a greater-than-normal attrition of personnel; goals being achieved in traumatic injury statistics; and increased emphasis on the emerging areas of hearing loss, surveillance, training, and cumulative injuries. With changes in mining conditions, equipment size, and technology, there

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health TABLE 11-1 Intermediate Goals and Performance Measures of Traumatic Injury Prevention Research and Committee Comments Intermediate Goala Performance Measurea Committee Comments 1. Develop interventions for preventing electrocutions and burn injuries This goal will be achieved through a 25% reduction in the 2003 baseline electrical injury rate by 2009 A rate reduction from 0.018 to 0.014 is considered an achievable goal. The target should be complete elimination 2. Develop interventions for preventing machine safety and powered haulage injuries This goal will be achieved by a 25% reduction in the 2003 baseline traumatic injury rate pertaining to machine safety and powered haulage-related injuries by 2009 Rate reductions from 0.301 to 0.226 for machinery and from 0.330 to 0.248 for powered haulage are considered achievable goals 3. Investigate wearable sensor technologiesb that empower the miner to take proactive steps in decreasing his or her exposure to work-related injuries This goal will be achieved by a 25% reduction in the 2003 baseline injury rate related to machinery, slips, and falls by 2009 Rate reductions from 0.301 to 0.226 for machinery and from 0.807 to 0.605 for slips, trips, and falls are considered achievable goals (NIOSH, 2006f) 4. Reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities resulting from the use of explosives This goal will be achieved if flyrock training materials are transferred to 75% of the blasting specialists in the mining industry by 2006. The transfer will be achieved if the Mine Safety and Health Administration incorporates these materials as part of its annual mining health and safety training The goal and performance measure are quite disparate. While flyrock training may take place, there is no assurance that the goal will be attained 5. Develop interventions, best practices, and strategies for improving training with respect to hazard recognition, risk factor awareness, and emergency response This goal will be achieved to the extent that the research findings and training interventions published by the Mining Program (1) become adopted by mine safety and health trainers and (2) are referenced and advocated by mine training and safety professionals Adoption and referencing of NIOSH materials by training and safety professionals are among the most successful stories of the Mining Program aSOURCE: NIOSH, 2005a. bThe Mining Program refers to sensors which will enable the miner to obtain real-time environmental and biometric information without forcing the miner into hazardous settings.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health may be new sources of hazards, the need for proactive analysis of safety issues, and the need for newer surveillance training programs. REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES In 2006, traumatic injury prevention research involved 11 activities, at a cost of $4.13 million. The activities, their purpose, and brief assessments are listed in Table 11-2. These activities, along with others to be conducted under NORA-2, are designed to achieve the overarching strategic goal of a 30 percent reduction in traumatic injuries by 2014, using the 2003 NFDL traumatic injuries rate as reference. REVIEW OF RESEARCH OUTPUTS Table 11-3 provides a comparison by type of traumatic injury prevention research outputs and total Mining Program outputs between 1996 and 2005 (NIOSH, 2005a). The table suggests this research area has been very active in obtaining patents, and developing guidelines, standards, training, videos, and web documents. The seven patents are for different warning devices based on essentially the same technology. Outputs from electrical research activities were used to promulgate regulations. Many publications—Report of Investigations, Information Circulars, and Bulletins—subsequently resulted in presentations at numerous national and international meetings. Mining Program outputs have covered every facet of traumatic injuries. High-priority areas were addressed through activities that generated important new knowledge and technologies, such as proximity warning devices that provide audio and visual alarms in the vicinity of mobile equipment. Outputs related to high-voltage equipment include recommendations addressing high-priority areas, and allowed for the promulgation of MSHA’s regulation for high voltage on longwalls, and the proposal of new MSHA regulation related to high voltage on continuous miners. Patents for proximity warning devices and similar technologies indicate that the Mining Program continues to pursue original ideas to create products useful to the industry. Most of the remaining outputs relate to applications for both individual large and small mining operations, but do not represent breakthrough results. All outputs have undergone, at the minimum, NIOSH’s internal peer review process, and several have received national and international recognition for contributions to the reduction of traumatic injuries.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health REVIEW OF TRANSFER ACTIVITIES Like its predecessor—the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM)—NIOSH transfers most of its research results into publications and training materials. By working with MSHA, important research results have been incorporated into enforcement and into engineering and education regulations and guidelines. No data are yet available to evaluate how well the research to practice (r2p) program functions as a mechanism to transfer information related to traumatic injury research. REVIEW OF INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES AND CAUSAL IMPACT Below is a list of intermediate outcomes resulting from work in this research area (NIOSH, 2005a): A NIOSH Technology News article (NIOSH, 2001) advised blasters to place carbon monoxide (CO) monitors in the basements of homes and businesses near blast sites. Since 2001, there have been no blasting-related CO poisonings. CO monitors have alerted residents before the onset of illness in two recent cases. Blasters are becoming educated in the need to minimize CO generation. The Mining Program, in cooperation with MSHA, developed guidelines for the safe use of waste motor oil for making ammonium nitrate fuel oil blasting agent. The Institute of Makers of Explosives has adopted this standard, and the recycling of waste motor oil for this use has become an accepted industry practice. MSHA requests for Mining Program assistance in accident investigations resulted in research that identified the need to modify boosters by incorporating tape over the detonator, and the modification was implemented by manufacturers. The Mining Program recommended a nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas monitoring protocol in response to requests by the Wyoming Mining Association (WMA) Red Smoke Committee; this was submitted by WMA to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and incorporated into WMA’s Powder River Basin Short-Term Exposure to NO2 Study. Research results have been incorporated into Powder River Basin mining plans. The frequency of orange blasting product clouds has decreased by about 90 percent since the Mining Program began working with Powder River Basin mines. Two manufacturers have added, or plan to add, undercarriage power line contact alarms as both add-on and stand-alone products as a result of Mining Program research on overhead power line hazard and contact alarms. The Electrical Safety Foundation International, in collaboration with the Mining Program and other partners, produced a training pamphlet regarding overhead power line electrical safety intended for small contractors and Hispanic

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health TABLE 11-2 Traumatic Injury Prevention Projects and Committee Assessment of Relevance and Impact Project Titlea Intermediate Goal Descriptiona Relevance Impact 1. Evaluating Roadway Construction Work Zone Interventions 2 Develop a warning device and a warning system for miner’s exposure near mobile vehicles and equipment Moderate Technology already available and needs to be implemented 2. Lockout or Tagout, Jammed and Moving Machinery Controls 1 Develop a warning device for miners, especially maintenance workers, to lockout and tagout equipment in hazardous areas High Industry-wide application when developed 3. Mobile Mining Equipment Warning Systems 2, 3 Reduce accidents to miners working with lift trucks Moderate Technology already available and needs to be implemented 4. Protocol for Evaluating Quality of Explosives in the Field 4 Develop a suite of protocols that miners and inspectors can use to determine the safety of explosives Moderate Improve blasting applications and safety 5. Reducing Electric Arc-Induced Injuries in Mining 1 Reduce the number of injuries from electric arcs High Reduce electrical accidents

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 6. Remotely Controlled Bulldozers on Coal Stockpiles 2 Investigate the feasibility of using remote controls on bulldozers operating on coal stockpiles Moderate Technology already available and needs to be implemented 7. Safety Enhancements for Off-Road Haulage Trucks 2 Develop and test interventions to prevent accidents when dump trucks are used in surface mines, and disseminate this information to the mining community Moderate Manufacturers improve truck safety options 8. Safety Solutions to Prevent Mining Materials Handling Accidents 2 Reduce accidents in handling materials in surface and underground metal and nonmetal mines Low Mine specific 9. Smart Wearables for Hazardous Work Environments 3 Investigate technologies that can be used in clothing for miners that can provide awareness of dangers Low Mining operation specific 10. Surface Blasting Safety and Health 4 Combine previous research on hazards from using explosives in surface mines associated with flyrock and fumes Moderate Improve blasting applications and safety 11. Virtual Reality for Mine Safety Training 5 Create training materials in virtual reality that can be used and evaluated in operating mines Moderate Education and training plans and techniques improved aSOURCE: NIOSH, 2005a.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health TABLE 11-3 Research Outputs Related to the Traumatic Injury Prevention Research Compared to the NIOSH Mining Program (1996-2005) Output Type Traumatic Injury Prevention Program Mining Program Patents 7 15 Publications 284 1,428 Guidelines 9 25 Software 2 18 Standards 4 6 Training 6 18 Video 8 20 Web documents 18 40 Workshops and Seminars 11 111 SOURCE: NIOSH, 2005a. workers. Pamphlets are available at the contractor’s sales desks of Home Depot, Lowe’s, and equipment rental companies. More than 800 copies have been sold. Plans to produce the pamphlet in Spanish are in progress. The Mining Program provided MSHA with technical information used to write 30 CFR 18 and 75, Electric Motor-Driven Mine Equipment and Accessories and High-Voltage Longwall Equipment Standards for Underground Coal Mines (Federal Register, 2002), establishing new mandatory electrical standards for the installation, use, and maintenance of high-voltage longwall mining systems in underground coal mines. The Mining Program identified electrical arc faults and power lines as major sources of injury. Both the electrical industry and extramural research are beginning to recognize and address these issues. NIOSH publications have been cited in written materials on these topics. The Mining Program conducted research on the use of lasers in flammable atmospheres and helped form the basis for American National Standards Institute and International Electrochemical Commission standards. Collaborative work by the Mining Program and others led to the development of improved Crewstation Analysis Programs (CAP) software in the mid-1990s to evaluate machine-mounted illumination systems. CAP software is used by all major U.S. mine lighting manufacturers and by MSHA in its Statement of Test and Evaluation (STE) procedures. NIOSH-originated procedures to test and integrate protocols for use of proximity warning systems are being applied by the mining industry, MSHA, and equipment manufacturers. The Mining Program has contributed to writing of an

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for performance requirements and tests of proximity detectors. The Hazardous Areas Signaling and Ranging Device (HASARD) is a personal warning device developed through the Mining Program’s collaborative research to warn workers of their proximity to mobile remote-controlled machines. Licenses have been granted to three firms, and two more are pending. A cooperative research and development agreement is pending with a South African firm. Mining Program collaborative research developed documents relating to the safety life cycle for programmable electronic mining systems based on International Electrotechnical Commission standards. Various manufactures have integrated Mining Program research into best practices and business plans, and MSHA and state agencies have incorporated research results into permitting approval processes. Other NIOSH divisions have incorporated these methodologies, and the research is being applied to projects in Australia. Each of the intermediate outcomes listed above has resulted in training and changes in stakeholder work practices for large and small mining operations. REVIEW OF END OUTCOMES As previously discussed, trends from 1994 to 2003 indicate good progress in the reduction of mining fatalities and injuries (MSHA, 2004a; 2006), including traumatic injury control. For example, between 1995 and 2004, fatality rates associated with haulage decreased from 10.72 to 5.90, and NFDL rates decreased from 0.503 to 0.316. Decreases also occurred in other categories, such as materials handling, machinery, and ground falls. The reductions are the result of efforts of many in the mining community, and the role of Mining Program research is difficult to quantify. However, it is clear that removing miners from exposure to hazardous gases resulting from blasting, or modifying explosives to make them safer, reduces traumatic injuries. Similarly, by improving electrical regulations, using warning devices, and following good-practice procedures when working with power lines and electrical equipment, traumatic injuries are also reduced. Finally, prevention of traumatic injuries is successful when miners are warned of the proximity of mining equipment, and protected while operating them. All of these contributions, when packaged into traditional and innovative training materials and distributed to the mining community, achieve some measure of the reduction of traumatic injuries and fatalities. The Mining Program’s development and dissemination of training materials via publications, meetings, and computer programs have provided valuable tools for identifying and reducing traumatic electrical injuries.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ASSESSMENT OF RELEVANCE AND IMPACT The Mining Program has shifted its approach to research: it is conducting fewer long-term research projects (>5 years) in favor of more short-term research projects (<5 years with most <3 years). The current process of identifying, proposing, selecting, and approving its activities is designed to continue the short-term approach, which appears to focus on applied rather than basic research. This may be preferable for a research organization such as NIOSH, but its selection and execution of research activities associated with traumatic injury reduction more resemble technical assistance, particularly when solving the problems of individual stakeholders. This method is not necessarily amenable to considering alternative safety approaches to reducing risk. NIOSH has been successful in partnering with major labor unions and their members, major mining companies, foreign countries, and academia, but has failed to communicate its research results to the entire mining community, especially individual small and large mining operations. PROGRESS IN TARGETING NEW RESEARCH The causes and control of traumatic injuries need continued attention as a result of changing scales of mines, equipment, and operations. Particular attention is needed in the areas of automatic and remote control so as to develop more effective safe operations. The Mining Program could take a more proactive approach in defining research needs through increased risk and loss analysis. The Mining Program often uses surveillance data, stakeholder input, and risk and loss control requirements to define research priorities and its overall goals (NIOSH, 2005a), but these are not adequate for identifying research needed in traumatic injury prevention. As mentioned earlier, traumatic injury prevention research has undergone significant reductions of personnel and funding. Surveillance is limited to the MSHA database, and stakeholder knowledge may be limited to select mining health and safety situations. These limit program efforts in risk and loss analyses. Injury prevention is a major issue in several other industrial sectors, and the potential is great for transfer of knowledge and experience to the Mining Program from other NIOSH programs.

OCR for page 131
Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Signature Accomplishments: Injury Prevention The interactive training program “3-D Hazard Recognition Training: A New Approach to Preventing Injuries Associated with Construction, Maintenance and Repair Activities” (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/products/view-masterreeltrainingexercises.htm) was developed in cooperation with aggregates mining companies and Pennsylvania State University, authenticated by mine safety experts, extensively field-tested with miners, and distributed through the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Training led to an increase in miners’ knowledge, compared to those who did not take the training. Major aggregate producers, including Vulcan Materials and Hansen Aggregates, have incorporated the training into their Part 46 training classes. The program has been used at more than 1,500 mining operations throughout the United States, and more than 5,000 copies have been requested. It is being used to train workers not only in the mining industry, but also in construction, gas, and oil extraction. It has been translated into Spanish by the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights and has also been requested internationally.