The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has launched a beta version of Examiner, a PC-based software tool to help miners identify hazards.
The institute says the training tool allows miners to test their examination skills in a simulated environment with more than 30 panoramic photos from a surface limestone mine.
Miners and mine safety trainers can use examiner during Part 46 annual refresher training, quarterly training meetings and pre-shift toolbox talks. The pre-loaded images include scenes from four locations at a stone surface mine: in the pit, at the plant, in the shop and along the mine roadways. The solution comes with customisable functionality and allows users to personalise training with their own panoramic images.
Dr. Jessica Kogel, NIOSH’s associate director for mining, says: “Examiner serves as a standalone training tool to help mineworkers recognize the safety and health hazards at job sites and find ways to mitigate these hazards. Miners and trainers can make this tool work in the way that’s best for each situation.”
NIOSH carried out research for several years with stone, sand and gravel mines to document how miners visually search for hazards using panoramic photos. The results and methodology from the study were incorporated into the development of Examiner. Also, the institute consulted with industry subject matter experts to verify that the scenes and the featured hazards in the tool are real depictions which may be seen in a real working environment.
Examiner is available for download from the NIOSH Mining Programme’s website.