Open Cut

Case Study of Human Centred Design of New Technology in Mining

Open Cut » Health and Safety

Published: September 22Project Number: C29001

Get ReportAuthor: Robin Burgess-Limerick | The University of Queensland

The design process reflected the requirements of ISO 9241-210 Ergonomics of human-system interaction Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems. A multidisciplinary design team followed an iterative process that:

  • commenced with a thorough understanding of users, tasks and environments;
  • involved users throughout;
  • and the resulting design was refined by user centred evaluation.

The activities undertaken broadly fall into four categories: understanding the context; specifying user requirements; producing design solutions; and evaluating these designs.

An understanding of the context of use for the system was developed over preceding years through activities of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table, including the definition of 24 surface mining vehicle interaction scenarios, and performance requirements for these scenarios, based on an understanding of Endsley's model of situation awareness. Additional understanding of the company specific context was obtained through Glencore's Vehicle Interaction Control Effectiveness project during which workshops were held at eleven surface coal mines.

A detailed set of functional requirements for a surface mining collision awareness system was developed that provided use cases describing scenarios from the perspective of the different users of the system including heavy equipment operators, light vehicle operators, supervisors and others. The functional requirements considered the 24 surface vehicle interaction scenarios previously identified, as well as 15 additional scenarios such as speeding or wet roads. An assessment of current technology was undertaken with reference to user-interface specifications developed from review of research evidence and relevant standards.

The design process included a series of workshops to define the user experience. These workshops included experienced users and subject-matter experts, Wabtec designers, and Glencore project team; as well as a Certified Professional Ergonomist. Animated “story-boards” were a crucial tool developed during the design process to allow the outcomes of the workshops to be effectively captured, communicated, and modified as required based on operator feedback.

The system design was evaluated through field assessments of 384 user and performance requirements across the 39 scenarios. Designers accompanied heavy equipment and light vehicle operators during staged scenarios to evaluate the functionality of both the collision awareness technology and the effectiveness of the interface in eliciting an appropriate responses across each scenario. In cab video footage was recorded during each test and the response of drivers to alerts and alarms was evaluated from the vehicle acceleration data. Drivers were also debriefed following each test. Few modifications were required to the interface design logic as a consequence of the field evaluations however several adjustments were made to the configurable system parameters. Feedback from operators post-implementation provided impetus for further modifications.

The data provided by the system have potential to provide considerable additional value such as promoting more efficient choreography of equipment movements to improved productivity and improve safety by reducing potential vehicle interactions.

The design process undertaken by Glencore/Wabtec provides a good example of a human-centred design process that reduces the risk of system failure by considering human capabilities and limitations, and involving users in the design process. The resulting system is consistent with current best practice human factors principles for interface design.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook