Author(s): Ruff T
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Abstract A radar-based proximity warning system was evaluated by researchers at the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to determine if the system would be effective in detecting objects in the blind spots of an off-highway dump truck. An average of five fatalities occur each year in surface mines as a result of an equipment operator not being aware of a smaller vehicle, person or change in terrain near the equipment. Sensor technology that can detect such obstacles and that also is designed for surface mining applications is rare. Researchers worked closely with the radar system manufacturer to test and modify the system on large, off-highway dump trucks at a surface mine over a period of 2 years. The final system was thoroughly evaluated by recording video images from a camera on the rear of the truck and by recording all alarms from the rear-mounted radar. Data show that the system reliably detected small vehicles, berms, people and other equipment. However, alarms from objects that posed no immediate danger were common, supporting the assertion that sensor-based systems for proximity warning should be used in combination with other devices, such as cameras, that would allow the operator to check the source of any alarm.
This article was published in Accid Anal Prev
and referenced in Journal of Powder Metallurgy & Mining