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Physical capacity of rescue personnel in the mining industry

Stewart, Ian B., McDonald, Michael D., Hunt, Andrew P., & Parker, Tony W. (2008) Physical capacity of rescue personnel in the mining industry. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 3(22).

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Abstract

Abstract
Background: The mining industry has one of the highest occupational rates of serious injury and fatality. Mine staff involved with rescue operations are often required to respond to physically challenging situations. This paper describes the physical attributes of mining rescue personnel. Methods: 91 rescue personnel (34±8.6yrs, 1.79±0.07m, 90±15.0kg) participating in the Queensland Mines Rescue Challenge completed a series of health-related and rescuerelated fitness tasks. Health-related tasks comprised measurements of aerobic capacity (VO2max), abdominal endurance, abdominal strength, flexibility, lower back strength, leg strength, elbow flexion strength, shoulder strength, lower back endurance, and leg endurance. Rescue-related tasks comprised an incremental carry (IC), coal shovel (CS), and a hose drag (HD), completed in this order. Results: Cardiovascular (VO2max) and muscular endurance was average or below average compared with the general population. Isometric strength did not decline with age. The rescue-related tasks were all extremely demanding with heart rate responses averaging greater than 88% of age predicted maximal heart rates. Heart rate recovery responses were more discriminating than heart rates recorded during the tasks, indicating the hose drag as the most physically demanding of the tasks. Conclusions: Relying on actual rescues or mining related work to provide adequate training is generally insufficient to maintain, let alone increase, physical fitness. It is therefore recommended that standards of required physical fitness be developed and mines rescue personnel undergo regularly training (and assessment) in order to maintain these standards.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 15501
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: mining, fitness
DOI: 10.1186/1745-6673-3-22
ISSN: 1745-6673
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Exercise Physiology (110602)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (The authors)
Copyright Statement: © 2008 Stewart et al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:48

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