In 2018, multiple EMESRT companies recognised that an increase in the diversity of their mining workforce was creating a potential exposure to health and safety hazards when operating and maintaining earth moving equipment.  This led to a review to characterise the range and extent of exposure issues that culminated in a Human Factors Design Diversity (HFDD) scoping workshop with 20 individuals representing 12 organisations. 

In 2019, EMESRT recognised that further problem definition work on this complex and broad reaching issues was required. This was the catalyst behind a successful funding application for ACARP Project C28034, led by Prof Burgess-Limerick from the University of Queensland with this scope.

Mining equipment human factors design for workforce diversity with these objectives:

  • To identify and describe design issues with current mining equipment which are a barrier to workforce diversity
  • To document and evaluate remedial control measures currently undertaken at sites
  • To communicate the results of the investigation to equipment designers and mine sites

In 2020, the research project report was published with following significant observation: 


“The considerable consistency observed across focus groups and workshop observations undertaken during this project confirms that the concerns regarding the current design of mining equipment which prompted the project were justified in that aspects of earth moving equipment designs may unnecessarily restrict the range of potential employees who can operate and maintain the equipment, and in turn create elevated risks of injury for those who currently undertake tasks associated with operating and maintaining the equipment. The observations also confirm the concerns are not limited to one particular mine operator, mine site or original equipment manufacturer.”

ACARP Project C28034 Mining Equipment Human Factors Design for Workforce Diversity

In 2021, EMESRT will reference this resource for scoping an industry project, the EAG anticipate that this may require reviews of:

  • Known design standards 
  • Equipment design for operations and maintenance
  • Current operational practice