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Sean Gallagher
10-27-1995, 07:55 AM
Underground miners in the U.S. are required by law to carry certain
personal protective equipment on a belt. These items may include a
caplamp battery (4.5 kg), and either a filter self rescuer (1 kg) or a
self-contained self-rescuer (2.6 kg). In addition to this basic
equipment, miners may also carry additional items on their
belts, depending on their specific responsibilities.

Recently, the trend has been to replace the filter self-rescuer
with the heavier self-contained self-rescuer (which helps streamline
the escape process). However, complaints are surfacing regarding
the additional weight and bulk associated with these units. The U.S.
Bureau of Mines has been called in to analyze the ergonomics issues
associated with wearing these units.

My questions are these:

1) Does anyone have information regarding the biomechanical effects
(esp. low back) of the wearing of loads on a belt, especially with
regard to asymmetric loading on the pelvis?

2) Does anyone have any information regarding belt design to improve
the wearability of devices on a belt (for example, are shoulder
straps beneficial in redistribution of forces (is there data?)?
What shapes are best?, etc.)

We would appreciate any thoughts you might have, or any references
you may be aware of, regarding this issue.

Thank you.

Sean Gallagher
US Bureau of Mines
PO Box 18070
Pittsburgh, PA

gallagher@ergoserv1.usbm.gov
Sean Gallagher
gallagher@ergoserv1.usbm.gov
fax: (412) 892-4108