The health and safety benefits of new technologies in mining: A review and strategy for designing and deploying effective user-centred systems

Tim Horberry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Mining is currently experiencing a rapid growth in the development and uptake of automation and other new technologies (such as collision detection systems); however, they are often developed from a technology-centred perspective that does not explicitly consider the end-user. This paper first presents a review of the technologies currently available (or near-market) and the likely human factors issues associated with them. The second part of the paper presents a potential long term strategy for research and development that aims to maximise the safety and health benefits for operators of such new technologies. The strategy includes a four stage research and development process, this covers: better understanding the needs for technology, user requirements and risk/cost analysis; human element design, procurement and deployment processes; evaluation and verification of the strategy; and dissemination of it to relevant stakeholders (including equipment manufacturers, mine site purchasers and regulators). The paper concludes by stressing the importance of considering the human element with respect to new mining technologies and the likely benefits of adopting the type of strategy proposed here. The overall vision is for mining to become safer and healthier through effective user-centred design and deployment of new technologies that serve both operator needs and the demands of the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Automation
  • Ergonomics
  • Human element
  • Human factors
  • Mining occupational health
  • New technologies
  • Safe design
  • User-centred

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