TABLE 10-1 Illness and Non-Fatal Days Lost Data for Mine Operators from 1993 to 2002

Illness Data

No.

Percent

NFDL Data

No.

Percent

Cases

6,419

 

Cases

84,629

 

Repeated trauma disorders

3,314

52%

Nature of injury

 

 

Part of body affected

 

 

Sprain, strain, ruptured disc

38,727

46%

Wrist

1,445

23%

Joints, tendon, muscle inflammation

421

1%

Ears

1,154

18%

Part of body affected

 

 

Back

430

7%

Back

21,030

25%

Knee

251

4%

Knee

8,114

10%

SOURCE: MSHA, 2006.

rials associated with activities such as roof support, ventilation control, or power supply installation. Cutting, drilling, loading, and hauling equipment are a common part of miners’ work, but they are often done in confined places with poor clearances and on poor or uneven floors that create unfavorable conditions for body postures. Some working conditions create hazards associated with whole-body vibrations or slips and falls. Other environmental factors such as limited visibility, dust, noise, heat, and humidity, coupled with shift and extended hours, are also associated with mining injuries. Mining equipment operators often are exposed to heavy and repetitive jarring and jolting motions.

Table 10-1 shows reported illness and non-fatal days lost (NFDL) injury data for mine operators between 1993 and 2002 (mill and office workers were not included). Repeated trauma disorders account for a majority of illnesses. In terms of parts of the body, ears are affected about 35 percent of the time, whereas wrist, back, and knee account for almost all other cases of repeated trauma (64 percent). Mining NFDL records indicate that nearly half of days lost were associated with sprains and strains, and approximately one third of days lost were associated with either back or knee injuries. Given that wrist, back, and knee injuries show up prominently in mining injury data, the work-related risk factors for these injuries need to be identified to reduce or eliminate them.

STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The reduction of repetitive or cumulative musculoskeletal injuries in mine workers as one of the Mining Program’s major strategic goals. The performance measure for achievement of this strategic goal is a 30 percent reduction in MSDs by 2014, from the baseline data of 2003. The two intermediate goals in this research area are summarized in Table 10-2. The committee recognizes that injury reduction research is enhanced by the increased application of human factors research



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