Mineworkers’ Perceptions of Mobile Proximity Detection Systems

  • Jennica L. BellancaEmail author
  • LaTasha R. Swanson
  • Justin Helton
  • Michael McNinch


Accident data indicates that mobile haulage poses a significant pinning, crushing, and striking risk. Proximity detection systems (PDSs) have the potential to protect mineworkers from these risks. However, unintended consequences of mobile PDSs can undermine the safety benefit they provide. Soliciting iterative user input can improve the design process. Users help provide a critical understanding of how mobile PDSs may hinder normal operation and endanger mineworkers. Researchers explored users’ perspectives by conducting interviews with mineworkers from seven mines that have installed mobile PDSs on some of their haulage equipment. Mineworkers reported that mobile PDSs affect loading, tramming, section setup, maintenance, and general work on the section. Mineworkers discussed the operational effects and increased burden, exposure, and risk. Mineworkers also suggested that improved task compatibility, training, logistics, and PDS performance might help address some of these identified issues. This paper also gives additional insights into mobile PDS design and implementation.


Proximity detection Mining Usability Task compatibility Unintended consequences 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of company names or products does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pittsburgh Mining Research DivisionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Spokane Mining Research DivisionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSpokaneUSA

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