COLD, VIBRATION, AIRBORNE EXPOSURES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC INFLUENCES IN MINING

Project Work Packages

Work Package 1: Sustaining wellbeing, working capacity and health during mining in cold (OUL)

The general aim of this work package is to identify and reveal the cold-related problems (in wellbeing, comfort, working capacity and health) specific to mining in the Arctic and to develop specific measures against these problems. The detailed aims are:

  • to sustain working capacity by identifying and revealing the most marked problems related to body heat balance, working capacity, physical strain and recovery and by recommending adequate measures
  • to evaluate the effect of protective clothing and to recommend adequate and adjustable clothing for the work in arctic open pit mines - to identify specific needs and define requirements for PPE for the mine workers
  • to minimize the cooling and musculoskeletal strain caused by handling of tools, machines and instruments
  • to prevent the contamination via clothing by improving the processes of donning and doffing
  • to record and distribute the best practices
  • to provide methods for occupational safety and occupational health care for screening, recognizing and managing of cold related and risks and inadequate clothing
  • to support the WP2 with thermal exposure and muscular strain data measurements together with WP2 and WP3
  • to analyze the compatibility of clothing with personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • to produce material for training and education (for WP4).

 

Work Package 2: Actions for sustained well-being, work capacity and god health among workers in the mining industry within the Barents region (TOS)

WP2 is designed to support and coordinate cohort studies (the joint multicenter cohort study and a cohort study on causes of mortality) of workers within the mining industry exposed to mechanical vibration in cold climate. For primary prevention, the dose-response relationship between vibration and outcome is required to permit efficient technical and administrative solutions, as education, improved regulations and personal protective equipment. Secondary prevention requires understanding of the natural history of vibration-related illness in a cold environment and the factors causing, or predicting, its progression. Tertiary prevention is based on reducing disease-related complications and promotes rehabilitation.

WP2 will lead to a better understanding of the role of exposure to cold climate on the development and progression of disorders related to mechanical vibration. This will provide a basis for better protection against mechanical vibration in order to reduce the risk for developing disorders.

WP2 will also increase knowledge on how to develop better mining tools and vehicles in order to reduce the risks for low back pain. WP 2 also aims to improve knowledge about and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease due to exposure to mechanical vibration.

 

Work Package 3: Actions for sustained well-being, work capacity and god health among workers in the mining industry within the Barents region in cold environment exposed to airborne particles (KVK)

WP3 is designed to conduct and coordinate a cross sectional study studies in workers within the mining industry exposed to diesel exhaust and airborne particles from mining in cold climate. WP3 includes an extensive study on Russian miners and exposure measurements in the other mines. The extensive study address the issue whether open
pit miners due to their exposure to the diesel exhausts particles inhaled during work can result in a low-grade systemic inflammation that. If this is the case, the exposure
may constitute a work related risk factor to cause certain pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases in miners heavily exposed to diesel exhausts during extraction in apatite, iron, nickel and other open pits commonly presented beyond the Arctic circle. The second part of WP3 includes measurements of particles in the Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish mines.

 

Work Package 4: Personal growth and regional development (KTUAS)

This work package will produce different kinds of learning materials and a socio-economic study. The material acts as an important dissemination tool for the project results. Through this material a wider audience will be reached and the project results will be adapted. Learning materials can be utilized both in basic and in special education, occupational health services and leadership training for companies in the mining industry. Material will be adapted suitable for each purpose. The results of socio- economic study will in many ways be useful for development work for instance for the miners and mining company and local and regional authorities.

 

Work Package 5: Coordination and dissemination (UMU)

This work package will coordinate the activities of all partners and overview the progress of work from individual work packages. The specific objectives are:

  1. To form a joint consortium agreement.
  2. To provide day-to-day co-ordination of the project so as to promote high quality research and organize deliverables within the deadlines and the budget constraints.
  3. To assist partners with the exchange of information and resources, and promote collaboration between partners;
  4. To merge data together in a common database
  5. To organize the dissemination of information on results of studies to:
    1. other researchers (through conferences, workshops, papers and reports);
    2. the wider community (by the provision of information on a web site).

 

For further information: www.minehealth.eu

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