[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 185 (Monday, September 24, 2012)]
[Pages 58845-58847]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23191]



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and 

    In compliance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on 
proposed data collection projects, the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. 
To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a 
copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call 404-639-7570 
and send comments to Kimberly S. Lane, CDC Reports Clearance Officer, 
1600 Clifton Road, MS-D74, Atlanta, GA 30333 or send an email to 
[email protected].
    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways 
to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, 
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology. Written comments should be received 
within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

    Human Systems Integration Design Guidelines (MinerFirst) for 
Improved Mine Worker Safety--New--National Institute for Occupational 
Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Background and Brief Description

    NIOSH, under Public Law 91-173 as amended by Public Law 95-164 
(Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977), and Public Law 109-236 
(Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006) has the 
responsibility to conduct research to improve working conditions and to 
prevent accidents and occupational diseases in underground coal and 
metal/nonmetal mines in the U.S.
    Mining remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United 
States. Despite continued efforts in

[[Page 58846]]

research and regulation, tragedies like Upper Big Branch (2010) and 
Sago (2006) highlight the need for additional work that focuses on the 
human component also known as human systems integration (HSI). HSI 
incorporates the needs of any human interaction within the system into 
the design process to optimize both safety and efficiency of the 
system. The use of HSI in the acquisition cycle is commonplace in other 
industries (e.g., the defense and aerospace industries). As an example, 
the Army has developed guidelines, called MANPRINT, which require all 
devices to meet standards for usability, wearability, and 
acceptability. The mining industry currently lacks a similar set of 
guidelines to ensure both usability by the miner and increased safety 
of the working environment.
    With the adoption of the MINER Act of 2006 as well as health and 
safety initiatives (End Black Lung Campaign), the mining industry has 
begun to mandate the increased use of safety devices by mineworkers 
(wireless communication systems, personal dust monitor, and proximity 
detection). These devices offer attractive health and safety benefits--
improved tracking and communication, real time monitoring of respirable 
dust levels, and the prevention of accidental crushing by large mobile 
machinery. However, while the benefits of such wearable devices are 
easy to understand within their own context, they inevitably increase 
both the physical and cognitive burden placed on the mine worker who 
must carry, interact with, and ultimately make decisions with each one 
of the devices. The physical burden is evident, but the cognitive 
effect may not be as clear.
    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. A first step to determining this impact is to 
understand a miner's job from the perspective of the miner. This 
research project will use an HSI approach to answer a series of 
questions because HSI is based on the understanding that people are the 
critical elements within systems and adopting a human-centric 
perspective of systems increases productivity and safety, while 
decreasing costs (Tvaryanas, 2006). 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.
    This is a multiphase research project. There will be three phases 
of data collection. Several data collection tools and research methods 
will be used in each phase of data collection.
    In phase I, NIOSH researchers will observe between 10 and 20 
underground coal miners while the miners are performing their jobs. The 
goal of this research method is to observe the tasks and subtasks that 
occur while specific jobs within the mine are performed to determine 
which tasks and subtasks are the most challenging for the miner. 
Researchers will keep observation notes, and if possible, ask miners 
questions while they are working. As the second part of phase I, an 
additional 10-20 underground miners will be asked to take part in a 
task/cognitive task analysis. During this task, miners will be asked to 
sequentially describe the steps taken to perform their job. This task 
will not be completed while the miner is performing his job, but will 
be described from memory. The underground miners who participate in the 
direct observation task and task/cognitive task analyses will all be 
considered experts at their positions, and the positions they work will 
be those that either rely on the use of energized equipment (e.g., 
Continuous Miner Operator) or are currently responsible for atmospheric 
and environmental monitoring (e.g., Fire Boss). Each direct observation 
session will take no longer than 4 hours, and each task/cognitive task 
analysis will take approximately two hours to complete.
    In phase II of this research, a 30 minute research questionnaire 
will be administered to no more than 150 underground coal miners. The 
research questionnaire is designed to assess situational awareness or 
more specifically what information miners believe is necessary for them 
to understand and interact with their surroundings and to safely 
complete their jobs. The research questionnaire will also be used to 
determine what information miners currently have available to them, how 
information is delivered to them, in what format they would like to 
receive information, and the benefit they see in having information. An 
additional 30 underground miners will take part in focus groups. 
Questions similar to those included on the research questionnaire will 
be asked during the focus groups. The goal of using this research 
method is to collect more in depth information about the topic from a 
smaller number of participants. In addition, a Fatigue Risk Management 
Systems Assessment Tool will be administered to no more than 50 mine 
personnel familiar with the mines concerns regarding fatigue as well as 
the fatigue risk management program that may be in use. The results of 
phase I and phase II will be used to formulate a portion of the initial 
draft of mining specific Human Systems Integration (HSI) guidelines.
    In phase III the experimental research strategy will be used to 
test usability, changes in cognitive workload, and situational 
awareness. A series of experiments will be conducted to evaluate how 
the mine specific HSI guidelines impact the aforementioned constructs. 
Specific hypotheses will be formulated after phases one and two have 
been completed. Both underground coal miners and NIOSH employees will 
be invited to participate in these experiments, which will take place 
at the NIOSH Bruceton, PA research facility. It is anticipated that 
each experimental session will last approximately one hour.
    The information collected from miners and NIOSH employees to answer 
these key questions will facilitate the development of mining specific 
HSI guidelines which are necessary for the planning, development and 
testing of products to be used by miners. There is no cost to 
respondents other than their time.

                                        Estimated Annualized Burden Hours
                                                                     Number of    Average burden
      Type of respondents           Form name        Number of     responses per   per response    Total burden
                                                    respondents     respondent        (hours)         (hours)
Phase I Miners................  Task/Cognitive                20               1               2              40
                                 Task Analyses.
Phase I Miners................  Direct                        20               1               4              80
Phase II Miners...............  Research                     150               1           30/60              75

[[Page 58847]]

Phase II Mine Safety Personnel  Fatigue Risk                  50               1               1              50
                                 Assessment Tool.
Phase II Miners...............  Focus Groups....              30               1               1              30
Phase III Miners..............  Experimental                  20               1               1              20
    Total.....................  ................  ..............  ..............  ..............             295

    Dated: September 14, 2012.
Ron A. Otten,
Director, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate 
Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 2012-23191 Filed 9-21-12; 8:45 am]