The contributions of human factors and ergonomics to a sustainable minerals industry

Tim Horberry, Robin Burgess-Limerick, Ruth Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes examples of the application of human factors research and development work to a sustainable minerals industry. It begins by outlining human-related aspects of the minerals industry and the key human factors work previously undertaken in this domain. The focus then switches to sustainability in the minerals industry. Sustainability principles are introduced and illustrations provided of how human factors research and development work fits within such a framework. Three case studies of human factors in the minerals industry research are presented and the sustainability implications in each case study are highlighted. Finally, future trends related to human factors work in a sustainable minerals industry are addressed, in particular the opportunities and possible adverse consequences that increasing deployment of mining automation might bring.Practitioner Summary: Minerals industries are a major global activity with significant sustainability implications. Aspects of sustainability in mining are examined using three case studies. These illustrate the contribution of human factors/ergonomics in reducing risks; developing emergency response management systems; and the value of participatory ergonomics in improving the design of mining equipment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-564
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ergonomics
  • human factors
  • minerals industry
  • mining
  • sustainability

Cite this