Evaluation of Real-time Whole-Body Vibration and Seat Pressure Distribution while Driving Mining Equipment
Industry partner: Mandalay Resources operates a gold and antimony mine located in Costerfield, Central Victoria. The operation is spread across two sites. Augusta is the underground site and the processing plant is named Brunswick. The mine’s final product is a concentrate containing approximately 50% antimony and 80 grams per tonne gold. The concentrate is sent to China for processing where the antimony is ultimately used as a fire retardant in plastics and other synthetic materials. Historically antimony was mainly used as an alloying element in the production of munitions. There is currently a workforce of approximately 200 people engaged at the Costerfield mine site. An exploration team is currently working to secure the future of mining at Costerfield.
Project background and project aims:
This project is based on the fact that Mandalay Recourses—a 100%-owned Costerfield god-antimony mine in Victoria—received complaints from drivers concerning the discomfort and injuries while operating the mining equipment. Most complaints are related to the discomfort seat, confined space in the driver’s cabin, and injuries due to whole body vibration.
This project aims to develop and implement real-time measurements of whole-body vibration and seat pressure distribution during a long-term handling of mining equipment, especially driving in trucks. The project will be divided into the following tasks:
- Determine a test procedure that simultaneously measure whole body vibration and seat pressure distribution according to standards and recommendations
- Identify the methods to analyse the measured data
- Identify the user-experiences and the sources of discomfort, fatigue and/or injury during a long-term drive
- Determine a correlation and causal relation between measured data with user-experience
The data will be used to provide recommendations on how to design a driver’s cabin and to optimal seat constructions that could reduce the exposure of whole body vibration and other negative effects on the users health.
- Measurement and analysis system according to the ISO standards 2631:1-1997 (datalogger, accelerometers, sensors)
- Pressure mapping system (datalogger, pressure-sensing mats, piezo resistive sensors)
- Video (to document driver’s postures and to support the understanding of test results)