J.J. Sammarco

Centers for Disease Control, Lesotho, Maseru, Maseru, Lesotho

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Publications (13)8.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are conducting mine illumination research with the objective of improving miner safety. Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) are the second leading accident class (18.1%, n = 2,374) of nonfatal lost-time injuries at underground mines (MSHA, 2005–2009). Factors contributing to STFs include recognition of hazards as well as postural balance and age. Improved lighting may enable better hazard recognition and reduce the impact of postural balance and age. Previous research has shown that cap lamp technology that used light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has improved hazard detection. This study was an initial investigation to determine if cap lamp lighting significantly influences measures of static postural stability (displacement and velocity of center of pressure). Results of this investigation showed no significant differences in the balance measures of interest between cap lamps tested. However, balance was shown to significantly decline (p < 0.05) when tested in an underground coal mine compared to the laboratory testing condition.Relevance to industryUnderground coal mine workers wear cap lamps on their hard hats as their primary light source to illuminate nearby areas where their vision is directed. Proper illumination may improve miner safety by improving their STF hazard recognition and balance.
    International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 07/2012; 42(4):377–383. · 1.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes an experiment to examine whether a visual warning system can improve detection of moving machine hazards that could result in struck-by or pinning accidents. Thirty-six participants, twelve each in one of three age groups, participated in the study. A visual warning system capable of providing four different modes of warning was installed on a continuous mining machine that is used to mine coal. The speed of detecting various machine movements was recorded with and without the visual warning system. The average speed of detection for forward and reverse machine movements was reduced by 75% when using the flashing mode of the visual warning system. This translated to 0.485 m of machine travel for the fast speed condition of 19.8 m/min, which is significant in the context of the confined spaces of a mine. There were no statistically significant differences among age groups in the ability to detect machine movements for the visual warning modes in this study. The visual warning system shows promise as a safety intervention for reducing struck-by or pinning accidents involving continuous mining machines. The methods and results of this study could be applied to other moving machinery used in mining or other industries where moving machinery poses struck-by or pinning hazards.
    Applied ergonomics 04/2012; 43(6):1058-65. · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conducted at the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this experiment is part of ongoing mine illumination research designed to explore the benefits of solid state lighting technologies when applied to the underground mining industry. This experiment involves the comparative evaluation of cap lamps with similar spectral power distributions, focusing on the electrical and battery discharge characteristics, with a secondary objective being exploring the benefits gained through alternative light beam distributions. NIOSH researchers conducted the investigation by comparing three commercially available LED cap lamps and a NIOSH prototype cap lamp at varying power settings. Visual performance for the detection of hazards was quantified by recording times of detection for finding rotating targets in the peripheral field of view and objects representing trip and fall hazards on the ground. Results show that the NIOSH prototype improved the ability to perceive objects in the visual field by improving peripheral motion detection times by as much as 79.5%, and ground hazard detection times by as much as 194.1%.
    Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting (IAS), 2011 IEEE; 11/2011
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    J. Sammarco, A. Mayton, T. Lutz, S. Gallagher
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are investigating different lighting technologies with the objective of improving mine safety. This paper presents results from an ongoing study that compares discomfort glare for different LED cap lamps using the de Boer rating scale. The cap lamps tested included two commercially-available LED cap lamps and one NIOSH prototype LED cap lamp tested at three different illumination levels. Prior research indicated the NIOSH prototype enabled much better visual performance as compared to other LED cap lamps. It uses three LEDs that produce multiple illumination areas in comparison to commercially-available cap lamps that use one LED and project a narrow spot pattern. Across subjects and cap lamp test conditions, measured illuminances (averaged at both eyes) varied from 0.62 lux to 3.73 lux; whereas, the de Boer glare ratings varied from 4.86 to 7.71. An analysis of variance based on 15 subjects indicated a significant difference in discomfort glare due to cap lamps (F 4, 52 = 18.01, p <;0.001). Post hoc tests indicate that one of the commercially-available cap lamps exhibited lower discomfort scores, with no statistically significant differences detected between the others. Thus, the NIOSH prototype cap lamp does not cause.
    Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting (IAS), 2010 IEEE; 11/2010
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    John J Sammarco, Sean Gallagher, Miguel Reyes
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    ABSTRACT: Accident data for 2003-2007 indicate that slip, trip, and falls (STFs) are the second leading accident class (17.8%, n=2,441) of lost-time injuries in underground mining. Proper lighting plays a critical role in enabling miners to detect STF hazards in this environment. Often, the only lighting available to the miner is from a cap lamp worn on the miner's helmet. The focus of this research was to determine if the spectral content of light from light-emitting diode (LED) cap lamps enabled visual performance improvements for the detection of tripping hazards as compared to incandescent cap lamps that are traditionally used in underground mining. A secondary objective was to determine the effects of aging on visual performance. The visual performance of 30 subjects was quantified by measuring each subject's speed and accuracy in detecting objects positioned on the floor both in the near field, at 1.83 meters, and far field, at 3.66 meters. Near field objects were positioned at 0 degrees and +/-20 degrees off axis, while far field objects were positioned at 0 degrees and +/-10 degrees off axis. Three age groups were designated: group A consisted of subjects 18 to 25 years old, group B consisted of subjects 40 to 50 years old, and group C consisted of subjects 51 years and older. Results of the visual performance comparison for a commercially available LED, a prototype LED, and an incandescent cap lamp indicate that the location of objects on the floor, the type of cap lamp used, and subject age all had significant influences on the time required to identify potential trip hazards. The LED-based cap lamps enabled detection times that were an average of 0.96 seconds faster compared to the incandescent cap lamp. Use of the LED cap lamps resulted in average detection times that were about 13.6% faster than those recorded for the incandescent cap lamp. The visual performance differences between the commercially available LED and prototype LED cap lamp were not statistically significant. It can be inferred from this data that the spectral content from LED-based cap lamps could enable significant visual performance improvements for miners in the detection of trip hazards.
    Journal of safety research 04/2010; 41(2):85-91. · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Illumination plays a critical role in an underground miner's safety because miners depend most heavily on visual cues to recognize hazards. Mobile mining machinery, located in the miner's peripheral field of view ( plusmn10deg to about plusmn60deg off-axis), may pose potential pinning and striking hazards. The main objective of this research was to determine if there were peripheral visual performance improvements for the detection of moving objects when using cool-white light-emitting diode (LED) cap lamps as compared to incandescent (INC) light bulbs commonly used in miner cap lamps. The cap lamp variable of interest is the spectral power distribution. The illuminances were normalized by a diffusion filter. The second objective was to determine if age is a factor for the peripheral visual performance. This is important because the workforce is aging-the average miner age is about 43 years old. Thirty subjects participated in the study, ten subjects each in the age groups of younger (18-25 years), middle (40-50 years), and older (51+ years). Visual performance was quantified by the subjects' speed and accuracy of response to detect the rotation of high-contrast (white) circular targets located 3.83 m away at -20deg, 40deg, and 50deg off-axis. The speed of detection and the number of missed target rotations (accuracy) were measured. The prototype LED cap lamp results were best with an 11%-15% improvement compared to the INC and LED cap lamps, respectively. Age does appear to be a significant factor. For the middle and older age groups, the target movement detection time increased 75% and 60%, and the number of missed targets increased 500% and 450%, respectively, in comparison to the youngest age group. The results also suggest that target location is a significant factor. The subjects' target movement detection time for the 40deg and 50deg target movements increased 16% and 69%, respectively, as compared to the -20deg target.
    IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications 01/2010; · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    Michael R. Yenchek, John J. Sammarco
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    ABSTRACT: Research by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicates that light emitting diodes (LEDs) can be used to enhance safety by improving a miner’s ability to see mining hazards and reducing glare. This paper investigates if LEDs provide another benefit by reducing miner exposure to hazards during maintenance and operation of LED lighting. LEDs could provide useful lives up to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting commonly used in mining and could enable design changes to reduce certain hazards. The mining accident records compiled by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) were examined to determine the extent and nature of accidents involving the maintenance and operation of mine luminaries. A total of 140 relevant accident records were found for the years 2002–2006. These incidents resulted in 3668 days lost from work with an additional 925 days of restricted activity. The injury narratives were studied to determine if the implementation of LED-based luminaries could reduce injury severity and frequency. The greatest near-term potential impacts appear to be related to reducing maintenance and cap lamp redesign. Longer term (5 years), low-power and lightweight auxiliary LED lighting for surface mines could also have potential impact for improving safety.
    Safety Science. 01/2010;
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    M.A. Reyes, S. Gallagher, J. Sammarco
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    ABSTRACT: This experiment investigated the effects of different machine mounted area lighting technologies on visual performance. The primary objective was to conduct a comparative evaluation of the lighting technologies based on the visual performance of thirty-six human subjects in a simulated underground mine environment. Incandescent (Incand), fluorescent (Fluor), and light-emitting diode (LED) technologies were used to create four lighting combinations. Visual performance was quantified for the detection of movement in the peripheral field of view and the identification of ground hazards. Measurements were made of the speed [response time measured in milliseconds (ms)], the accuracy (the number of targets and objects missed), and the subjective discomfort rating of the glare experienced for each lighting combination. A secondary objective explored the effects of aging on visual performance. The results indicate that lighting combinations which consisted of LED area lights significantly improved visual performance for the detection of hazards found in the peripheral field of view, as well as those found on the ground. They furthermore, indicate that age plays a significant role in visual performance.
    Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, 2009. IAS 2009. IEEE; 11/2009
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    ABSTRACT: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are emerging as viable replacements for incandescent (INC)-based cap lamps used in mining. The photometric and energy characteristics of these light sources differ in important ways. This paper describes the performance of LED and INC sources in cap lamps in terms of correlated color temperature, color rendering, light output, electric power, ambient temperature and air flow, and light source aging. Importantly, these characteristics can influence a miner's ability to spot mining hazards thus impacting safety. Second, some of these characteristics interact with the operating life of the cap lamp's battery power, such that differences between LED and INC sources can be magnified toward the end of a 10-h battery discharge cycle. Empirically, we have determined that after 8 h at an ambient temperature of 25degC , the average light output of an INC cap lamp can decrease to about 69% of its initial value when powered by a lead-acid battery, and it can decrease to about 65% of its initial value when powered by a nickel-hydride battery. An LED-based cap lamp using a constant current drive circuit can maintain about 96% of its initial value when powered by a nickel-hydride battery. Real-world tests addressing the effects of ambient temperature and air flow on the light output of an LED and INC cap lamp were conducted in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Safety Research Coal Mine. The LED cap lamp yielded a vertical average illuminance improvement of approximately 9.5%, and the INC cap lamp yielded a vertical average illuminance degradation of approximately 4%. The differences between LED and INC cap lamps were further quantified by the calculation of ldquomesopic luminancerdquo data that indicated for the same photopic luminance (i.e., as measured using a conventional light meter) the LED cap lamp could be up to 38% more efficient than the INC cap lamp with a lead-acid battery at the end of the 10-h driving cycle. Lastl- - y, accelerated life tests were used to empirically determine light output depreciation as the INC light source age approached its useful life. There was about a 35% decrease in light output. This is quite considerable, particularly given that the light output will decrease an additional 30% to 45% over the period of a 10-h shift. The implications of the differences between LED and INC sources are discussed. This information is crucial in determining how visual performance could be affected for real-world conditions where batteries discharge during the work shift and as the light source ages. To date, only idealized conditions have been used for LED and INC cap lamp visual performance research.
    IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications 11/2009; · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    J. Sammarco, M. A. Reyes, S. Gallagher
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    ABSTRACT: Proper illumination is critical to a miner's ability to detect hazards in underground mines. Moving hazards are often located in the miner's peripheral field-of-view, while slip/trip/fall hazards are often located in the forward field-of-view. The objective of the research described in this paper was to determine if light-emitting diodes (LEDs) improve visual performance as compared to traditional incandescent (INC) cap lamps. The research presented focuses on comparative studies of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) prototype LED, a commercial LED, and an INC camp lamp. Thirty subjects participated in these studies; ten subjects in each of the age groups: 18 to 25 years, 40 to 50 years, and 51+ years. Visual performance was quantified by the subjects' speed and accuracy in detecting hazards, while visual performance for disability glare was quantified by the use of contrast sensitivity tests. Results suggest that LEDs with a visible spectrum containing a higher concentration of the shorter wavelengths can enable visual performance improvements with respect to disability glare, the detection of moving hazards in the peripheral field-of-view, and the detection of floor hazards in the forward field-of-view. The NIOSH prototype LED cap lamp provided the best visual performance improvements for the older age groups in every test. Disclaimer: The findings and co nclusions in this report have not been formally disseminated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.
    01/2009;
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    J.J. Sammarco, T. Lutz
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    ABSTRACT: Miners depend most heavily on visual cues to recognize underground mining hazards; consequently, illumination plays a critical role in miners' safety. Some hazards are located in the miners' peripheral field-of-view (10 degrees to about 60 degrees off-axis) or on-axis (0 degrees). The objective of this research was to determine if there were visual performance improvements when using solid-state cap lamps with light- emitting diodes (LEDs) as compared to incandescent light bulbs commonly used in miner cap lamps. Recent research has indicated that an increased short-wavelength content of the spectral power distribution of LEDs relative to incandescent lamps improves peripheral visual performance for low-light (mesopic) conditions. The visual performances of nine subjects were quantified by measuring the subjects' speed and accuracy in detecting floor objects located on axis and at plusmn20 degrees off axis. The objects were located near field (1.83 meters) and far field (3.66 meters). Upon presentation of the objects, subjects would count and point to each object using a red-laser pointer. The object detection response time and number of missed objects were recorded. The results of the visual performance comparison for an LED, a prototype LED, and an incandescent cap lamp are presented. There we no missed objects when subjects used the LED-based cap lamps but, there were three missed object occurrences when subjects used the incandescent cap lamp. The mean detection time when using the incandescent cap lamp was 55.3% greater than the prototype LED cap lamp and 43.5% greater than the LED cap lamp. It can be inferred from this data that the spectral distribution of LED-based cap lamps could enable significant visual performance improvements as compared to incandescent cap lamps.
    Industry Applications Conference, 2007. 42nd IAS Annual Meeting. Conference Record of the 2007 IEEE; 10/2007
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    J.J. Sammarco
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    ABSTRACT: Emergency shutdown systems (ESDs) for mining machinery provide critical functions to safeguard miners. Traditionally, ESDs were realized with simple hardwired circuits; today, there is a growing trend to use programmable electronic technology such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs). This paper describes an analytical study to quantify the safety integrity of a PLC-based ESD and a hardwired ESD. The safety integrity level (SIL) of each design approach was determined by quantifying the average probability of failure on demand (PFD<sub>avg</sub>) described by the recommendations for programmable electronic mining systems published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the IEC 61508 international standard. The safety analyses addressed system architecture, hardware failure probability, proof test interval, diagnostic coverage, and human error probability. The results indicated that a same level of safety, SIL 3, could be attained when evaluating random hardware failures. Neither approach could attain SIL 3 if manual activation was used. Human error was the limiting factor where, using human reliability analysis,PFD<sub>avg</sub> < 1x 10 <sup>-1</sup>; thus, the ESD does not meet SIL 1. It is apparent that automatic verses human-activation of the ESD is a very important safety consideration. Manually actuated ESDs can only achieve SIL 1 regardless of the technology; therefore, additional independent safety layers of protection are needed to exceed SIL 1. Second, it is apparent that the technology choice is very important. The PLC-based ESD was much simpler to design and to validate safety.
    IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications 08/2007; · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • J Sammarco, A Mayton, T Lutz, S Gallagher
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    ABSTRACT: The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting mine illumination research to determine if light-emitting diode (LED) cap lamps can improve safety by reducing glare. Glare can impede a miner's ability to see hazards and to safely perform their work. Another objective is to determine if a person's age is a factor. This is important because the workforce is aging — the average miner is now about 43 years old. Three cap lamps were used to evaluate glare: an incandescent cap lamp, a commercially available LED cap lamp and a NIOSH prototype LED cap lamp. Thirty NIOSH personnel from the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) served as test subjects. Three age groups were established with ten subjects in each group. Testing was conducted in the Mine Illumination Laboratory (MIL) of NIOSH PRL. The results indicate no statistically significant difference in discomfort glare among the incandescent and LED cap lamps. However, an analysis of variance for disability glare indicates that the LED cap lamps were superior for the older subjects. Disability glare scores for the oldest subject group improved 53.8% when using the NIOSH prototype LED cap lamp compared to the incandescent cap lamp and 36.5% compared to the commercial LED cap lamp. It ap­ pears that, given the conditions of this study, LED cap lamps will not increase discomfort glare and can enable signifi cant improvements in disability glare for older workers. It is also evident that not all LEDs are created equal. The disability glare improved the best for older workers when they used the NIOSH prototype LED cap lamp, which has a different spectral power distribution (SPD) (more short wavelength energy) than the commercial LED cap lamp. Therefore, for disability glare, the results suggest that the SPD is an important factor to consider in cap lamp design.