Title: Comparison of seat designs for underground mine haulage vehicles using the absorbed power and ISO 2631-1(1985)-based ACGIH threshold limit methods

Authors: Alan G. Mayton, Farid Amirouche, Christopher C. Jobes

Addresses: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, PA 15236, Pittsburgh, USA. ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2027 Engineering Research Facility, 842 West Taylor St., IL 60607, Chicago, USA. ' National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, PA 15236, Pittsburgh, USA

Abstract: Based on prior mine vehicle studies of operators| exposure to whole-body vibration, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluated four seat designs on mine haulage vehicles, with regard to roadway-induced jarring/jolting and operator comfort. Investigators collected objective and subjective data from vehicle operators on two existing and two NIOSH seat designs. This study included time and frequency response data using accelerometers and a data recorder, operator perceptions of jarring/jolting and discomfort levels using a linear visual analogue scale, and data from a questionnaire developed for this study. Results from the analysis of subjective data show that operators generally favoured the NIOSH-designed seats over the existing seats. The results of analyses from the absorbed power method and the threshold limit method, based on ISO 2631-1 (ISO, 1985), support the premise that NIOSH seat designs are superior to the existing vehicle seat designs on both models of mine shuttle cars used in the study. The NIOSH seat designs, featuring viscoelastic foam padding, were more effective in reducing vibration energy for operators exposed to vehicle jarring/jolting. In this paper, the performances of the NIOSH and existing seat designs are compared relative to the operator's exposure to vehicle vibration (mainly jarring/jolting).

Keywords: seat designs; whole body vibration; comfort analysis; absorbed power; mine operators; mine vehicles; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; NIOSH; viscoelastic foam.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2005.008027

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2005 Vol.12 No.3, pp.225 - 238

Available online: 10 Nov 2005 *

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