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Increasing cognitive loads on miners’ brains: good example of where society is heading

Posted Sep 26 2012 10:03am

NIOSH to Study Cognitive Loads on Underground Coal Miners (Occupational Health & Safety):

“NIOSH has published a  notice  outlining an interesting study it plans to undertake to understand the cognitive demands placed on underground coal miners by new safety devices they must carry, with the industry increasingly deploying wireless communication systems, personal dust monitors, and proximity detectors…

The physical burden is evident, but the cognitive effect may not be as clear,” according to the notice. “Currently, it is unknown how the increased physical and cognitive load that is being placed on today’s mine workers will affect their health and safety… The goal of this project is to determine: (1) What information is critical for a miner to safely perform his job, (2) what processes (e.g., expertise, decision making, attention, etc.) are necessary for a miner to effectively perform his job, and (3) how do the miner and the machine interact.”

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