Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Reduction of physical strain when laying tracks and piping

In mining operations several hundred kilometres of roadway are headed every year. These roadways are mostly equipped with track systems for the purposes of guided haulage. All the tracks are laid manually, (ie in an ergonomically unfavourable posture, which gives rise to extreme strains on the mineworker's spine). The present working sequence was recorded and evaluated after a number of on-the-spot inspections. The evaluation of the analytical data reveals that the mineworker is subjected to such stresses when handling rails and sleepers that consequential damage to the lower spine cannot be discounted. In order to minimize the operations and the related strains, a mechanical working aid was developed. This working aid is intended to help avoid the major working strains arising in the preparation of the track bed and in the laying of the preassembled track sections. The prototype for the track-laying train was first used underground at the Lohberg/Osterfeld mine in July 1996. The initial difficulties encountered as part of the trial operations for track relaying work, such as derailing when riding or contaminated compressed air, were eliminated. The use of the track-laying train led to a rise in effective working when track-laying. Studies have verified the ergonomic and occupational medical benefits. Parallel to the track-laying train, an assembly bench was developed with which it is possible to perform all the assembly jobs for a track section in an ergonomically favourable posture. These jobs previously had to be carried out on the floor of the mine in a bent position without the use of hoisting equipment. After the initial test phase it is already evident that the use of the track-laying train provides substantial physical relief. This applies both with regard to the strain on the heart and circulation system and, more particularly, the compressive strain on the lower spine.

Reported by

Ruhrkohle Bergbau AG
Sahmrockring 1
44623 Herne
Germany
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