Task rotation in an underground coal mine: Implications on injury and musculoskeletal discomfort

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Applied Ergonomics


Purpose: To investigate the effect of a task rotation schedule on musculoskeletal injury and the challenges of implementing a task rotation schedule within an underground coal mine. Methods: This was a pre-post cross-sectional intervention study with two underground coal mines. Participant-surveys were collected at baseline and 12-months. Results: There were no significant differences in musculoskeletal discomfort between the two sites in any body region. Tasks were rotated two to three times a shift on average. Conclusions: The task rotation schedule did not have a significant impact upon musculoskeletal discomfort although this does not necessarily reflect that the rotation schedule was in-effective in curbing injury, rather highlights the complexity of developing a successful task rotation schedule within an underground coal mine. The task rotation schedule, its implementation and execution need consideration and further investigation to assist in effectively controlling injury and fatigue risk.

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