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NIOSH releases hazard recognition training tool for mineworkers

EXAMiner designed for use by mineworkers, mine safety trainers

Posted February 19, 2019

A new software training tool released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is intended to help mineworkers identify safety and health hazards at their jobsite. EXAMiner is a PC-based software application that allows both novice and experienced miners to test their examination skills in a simulated, interactive environment with more than 30 panoramic photos from a real surface limestone mine, or with uploaded images taken by smartphones or digital cameras in their own mine in any sector.

NIOSH says EXAMiner is designed to be used by mineworkers and by mine safety trainers during Part 46 annual refresher training, quarterly training meetings, and pre-shift toolbox talks. The preloaded images include scenes from four locations at a stone surface mine: in the pit, at the plant, in the shop, and along the mine roadways. EXAMiner’s customizable functionality also allows miners and trainers to use their own panoramic images to personalize the training.

Prior to developing the software, NIOSH researchers conducted a lab study with stone, sand, and gravel mines to document how mineworkers visually search for hazards using panoramic photos. The results and methodology from that study were incorporated into the development of EXAMiner. NIOSH consulted with industry subject matter experts to verify that the scenes and the featured hazards in EXAMiner are true-to-life depictions mineworkers might see in a real working environment.

The beta release of EXAMiner is available for download from the NIOSH website. The Agency says that while testing is still underway, it considers the software to be fully functional.

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