Field Testing of a Prototype Heat Stress Monitor: System Performance and Applicability to Commercial Mining in Australia.
Final technical rept.,
CURTIN UNIV OF TECHNOLOGY PERTH (AUSTRALIA) SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
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Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement CRDA, a prototype environmental Heat Stress Monitor HSM originally developed for military use, was evaluated for potential applications as a heat stress management tool in the Australian mining industry. The hand-held electronic HSM combines a thermal strain prediction model with an integrated environmental sensor suite that measures air temperature, humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation, to provide tailored guidance on hourly drinking water needs, optimal workrest cycle limits, and maximum safe work time. Overall system performance of three prototype HSMs was evaluated at a commercial oil production facility at Barrow Island, Australia, and a single prototype was evaluated for potential use in deep copper mine environments in Queensland, Australia. Results at Barrow Island indicated that although conceptually suitable for use in those outdoor environments, additional engineering work on the HSM wind speed sensor is needed to bring that sensor within required accuracy tolerances. The deep mine evaluations identified additional system requirements that would be essential for acceptance in that production environment. These included a back-lighted liquid crystal display, autonomous data logging capability, additional program space, and computer interface support for calibration services and data download. Based on the magnitude of these system enhancements and our need to satisfy stated military requirements for a smallerlighter device, we have concluded that a major redesign of HSM is appropriate. We recommend that a new prototype HSM with strong dual-use applicability be developed and tested in laboratory and field environments.
- Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering
- Stress Physiology
- Mining Engineering