Assessment of the ergonomic design of self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) devices for use by women in mining
De Ridder, J.H.
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Increasing numbers of women are entering the South African mining industry, but self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) devices might not be suited to female anthropometric dimensions. The aim of this project was to assess the ergonomic design of SCSRs for use by women in the SAMI. Body measurements and questionnaires were collected from 100 female mineworkers from one coal, one platinum, and one gold mine in South Africa. Practical performance assessments of SCSRs when worn on the belt and when donned and in use were conducted with 11 female mineworkers in a simulated underground mining environment. The majority of the participants experienced pain or discomfort when wearing an SCSR and numerous anthropometric dimensions differed from reference values. Dimensional limitations or shortcomings of current SCSRs for use by women in mining were identified, including that the devices were considered to be too heavy and bulky for daily wearing on the belt. The study findings can be used to inform interventions to improve the design and fit of SCSRs