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Human Factors Aspects of Tyre Handling Equipment Design and Operation Examined within an EMESRT Control Framework Approach

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Published: May 23Project Number: C33005

Get ReportAuthor: Sara Pazell, Robin Burgess-Limerick, Mike Boyle | VIVA Health Group, University of Queensland, Risk Mentor

The primary objective of this project was to analyse the trye handling operations, consider the equipment types, and align with the initiatives of the mining industry to reduce exposure to unwanted and adverse events through improved equipment and work design.

Over three phases, this project evaluated the human factors aspects of tyre handling equipment design and operation within an Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) - Control Framework approach and provides functional performance requirements for this equipment. It illustrates a process by which human factors principles should be applied to equipment design and operation within the EMESRT Control Framework approach. This project is linked to project C33007 to assist development of the EYECUE technology to minimise and or mitigate hazardous exposures that lead to tyre and rim handling fatalities.


The main outcomes is an understanding of the real world operating conditions of tyre handling and management, the classification of tyre handling workflows, recurring tasks within these workloads, and the factors that can lead to Credible Failure Modes.

The findings can be communicated and disseminated to industry bodies and representatives, with a hope to stimulate a shared interest in design improvements via visual storytelling. Eighteen video based animated storyboards were developed, with 17 depicting events that can give rise to fatalities, and one explaining the overarching concerns per the Control Framework. Poster based resources were also developed, like a 5x3 matrix describing tyre handling equipment per their prime mover and attachments, a description of 35 problem-based design statements from which opportunities may arise to improve design, and a graphic display of direct and indirect tyre handling interactions. The EMERST Control Framework, coupled with human factors methods, was found to provide an effective study approach to achieve meaningful results, guiding theoretical investigations and prompting practical industry relevant resources.

Each phase of the project is described in detail in the report.

Phase 3, 29 July 2022

Phase 3 focussed on the refinement and conversion of high consequence tyre handling and maintenance tasks identified. Supporting collateral was developed, including a poster describing the direct and indirect tyre handling interactions, an operational warning poster, a revision to the tyre handling equipment type matrix, and problem-based design statements. Subject matter expertise was leveraged to help inform the content development. The identified tasks and storyboard creations were synthesised to determine implications to the (EMESRT) tyre handling Control Framework material. The project occurred alongside C33007 and used content captured by their EYECUETM computer vision technology site monitoring and artificial intelligence hazard detection systems to help inform the storyboards and explain tyre handling operations to the technical animation and learning instruction design teams.

Phase three project objectives were to:

  • Expand the content about and validate the catalogue of 15 tyre handling workflows, their high-consequence tasks, the Required Operating States, the Credible Failure Modes, and the Business Inputs through consultation with subject matter experts (e.g., through workshops, interviews, shared video review, and/or as informed by sites).
  • Embellish at least 5 of the related Credible Failure Modes per hazard patterning techniques that identify the contributing and interacting factors.
  • Determine the implications of the data gathered for equipment functional specifications, training, and other business inputs and convert these into design-based problem statements, with at least a “top 5” identified and confirmed by subject matter experts.
  • Develop static illustrations depicting the nature of direct and indirect tyre handler interactions that will inform the development of animated storyboards.
  • Develop 18 animated storyboards, 17 depicting high-consequence tasks with Credible Failure Modes (tasks that are nested and, at times, recurring within tyre handling workflows, e.g., “lifting a tyre”), and one compilation animation.
  • Communicate findings that will inform original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), operational teams, technology support teams for site monitoring and alerts (such as Fingermark's EYECUE™ system), and database developers, such as Risk Mentor and the Workflow Analysis Tool, through industry workshops and meetings.

Phase 2, 30 March 2022

Phase 2 involved further analysis of tyre handling operations, classification of equipment and fitment types, and identification of high consequence tasks. The findings from Phase 2 have led to preliminary consideration of event based storyboards, historic and imagined, per their Credible Failure Modes and current Business Inputs.

Phase 2 project objectives were to:

  • Develop the information architecture for rapid synthesis of task design and functional operating requirements of tyre handling within the EMESRT Control Framework approach.
  • Populate the database with data obtained during project C33005 with focus on the high-consequence, fatal events associated with tyre handling.
  • Add additional information to the database gathered from the EMESRT Tyres & Rims Technical Working Group; tyre-handling service providers; and analysis of Fingermark video data obtained during project C33007.
  • Validate and verify the utility of the resulting register of Required Operating States; Credible Failure Modes and Business Inputs at mine site(s) for verification.
  • Determine the implications of the data gathered for equipment functional specifications, training, and other business inputs.

Phase 2 Findings

It led to the classification of four operational contexts (warehousing, transport, and storage; preparing tyres and wheels/rims for fitment, changing tyres and wheel/rim assemblies, and removing/fitting tyres to a wheel/rim), with a listing of 15 tyre handling workflows, and the consensus of Credible Failure Modes during 17 tasks that occur within the workflows. These tasks were analysed per their Required Operating States, Credible Failure Modes, Business Inputs, equipment type, person involved, environmental conditions, consequences, and design strategies. Further, a 5 x 3 classification of tyre handling equipment and their attachments was developed. From this, 26 problem-based design statements were developed to help inform OEM design teams.

Phase 1, April 2021

A human-factors investigation of mining tyre handling equipment was undertaken. The goal of site visits during this phase was to engage in an empirical evaluation of human factors aspects of tyre handling equipment and design. Through EMESRT group facilitation, a task-based analysis of equipment and system design was undertaken, considering human-interface, functional operating requirements, and the design implications to worker productivity and health. Implications for the EMESRT Control Framework approach was considered, as were design implications for the EYECUETM monitoring technology.

Phase one objectives were to:

  • Evaluate the human factors aspects of tyre handling equipment design and operation within an EMESRT Control Framework approach and provided functional performance requirements for this equipment
  • Illustrate a process by which human factors principles should be applied to equipment design and operation within the EMESRT Control Framework approach
  • Provide information to improve the EMESRT Control Framework approach
  • Assist Fingermark in developing the EYECUETM technology to minimise or mitigate hazardous exposures that lead to tyre and rim handling fatalities

Phase 1 Findings

The findings led to significant improvements in the understanding of tyre handling equipment use constraints and design opportunities. Importantly, there was consensus among fitters and subject matter experts that a custom made tyre handler designed anew, specific to tyre fitting tasks, may be an improvement to the mix of equipment in use to create a “handler” from a prime mover, fitment arms, and pads with teeth designed to grip a tyre, but not necessarily to grasp, hold, or carry componentry which is necessary to earth-moving equipment tyre stripping and fitting.

All three phases are published together and are available from the ACARP website as a single document.


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