Published Material

Members of the Jim Knowles Group have made numerous presentations at conferences and seminars over many years. Subject areas include: Whole-body Vibration; Risk Management; machinery and equipment design; human error; ergonomics issues in the mining industry; contractor management; and Work Health and Safety (WHS).

Barbara McPhee has authored or co-authored a number of books and international publications including Bad Vibrations; Practical Ergonomics (an introductory handbook on ergonomics for mine workers) and Ergonomics Guidelines (a handbook on ergonomics for Occupational Health personnel in Industrially Developing Countries or IDCs).

Bad Vibrations: a handbook on whole-body vibration exposure in mining. B McPhee, G Foster and A Long. Coal Services Health and Safety Trust, Sydney 2009.

This handbook deals with the nature of whole-body vibration (WBV), its sources and prevention. It aims to assist people in the mining industry to identify and manage the risks associated with vibration exposure. It is for use by people who have responsibility for work health and safety (WHS) in the workplace including managers, WHS personnel, engineers, purchasers of equipment, supervisors, operators and drivers, maintenance personnel as well as equipment designers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Bad Vibrations (PDF, 2.5 MB)


Ergonomics Guidelines for Occupational Health Practice in Industrially Developing Countries. P Scott, K Kogi and B McPhee. International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). 2010.

These guidelines are designed to assist personnel in the field of occupational health who have a limited knowledge of ergonomics. They outline the process of identifying, assessing and controlling problems related to health and safety in the workplace. The ultimate aim is that they can provide assistance in planning basic intervention strategies based on sound ergonomics principles.

Ergonomic Guidelines (PDF, 3.2 MB)


Jim's Presentation to the 2013 Mechanical Engineering Safety Seminar

The Future with Human Error (PDF, 3.2 MB)


Practical Ergonomics: Human Factors at Work. Application of ergonomics principles in the workplace. B McPhee. Coal Services Health and Safety Trust, Sydney 2006.

This Handbook is designed as a ‘map’ of ergonomics, its scope and application in the workplace rather than a complete summary of all issues. It provides introductory material in the form of general principles and guidance that might be of use to people working in heavy industry such as mining, construction, agriculture, forestry and the utilities. For the most part it steers away from recipe solutions and concentrates on the process of ergonomics problem solving. It does not attempt to repeat what is adequately covered in other publications. Key Principles for sections are included.

Practical Ergonomics: Pages 1 to 44 (PDF, 2.6 MB)      
Practical Ergonomics: Pages 45 to 106 (PDF, 2.7 MB)


Ergonomics for the Control of Sprains and Strains in Mining. B McPhee. Joint Coal Board and Worksafe Australia, Sydney 1993.

The Handbook is the result of work undertaken while the author was conducting a demonstration ergonomics project in the NSW coal industry for the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Council (NERDDC) under the auspices of the Joint Coal Board. It is the synthesis of many pieces of information and ideas from the coal mining industry in NSW. It is for use by work health and safety personnel and others who have responsibility for the prevention of accidents and injuries in mining. Most particularly its aim is to assist these users in the identification and management of risks associated with manual tasks and rough rides in mines. One approach to reducing or eliminating risks associated with these activities is ergonomics.

Ergonomics in Mining (PDF, 2.3 MB)

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