In efforts to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s mine inspectors, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has initiated the deployment of a new Mobile Inspection Application System (Mobile IAS). The system will better carry out MSHA’s core mission of promoting the health and safety of America’s miners. It is expected, that when completely deployed, nearly 1,500 federal mine inspectors across the nation and enforcement staff will benefit from this new technology.
The previously system in place was over 18 years old and required mine inspectors to carry laptops, cameras, reference materials and documentation from any previous inspections that might have been performed. The new Mobile IAS integrates all of these aspects into one application. It can provide all the information using the latest technologies to allow storage and transfer of data. An overhaul on the user interface improves the ease of use, also.
“Enabling mine inspectors to work more efficiently means more time to focus on the health and safety of America’s miners,” said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. “MSHA’s Mobile IAS is expected to improve the quality of information by eliminating redundancy, and provide more timely information for inspectors.”
The new MSHA Mobile IAS is a Microsoft Windows-based lightweight but ruggedized tablet that includes an embedded camera that captures high resolution pictures as well as video. The unit also provides voice recording as well as keyboard access. Access is by way of the touch screen or digital pen. The units are Wi-Fi enabled and have Bluetooth to facilitate data input and to streamline the inspection process. The application is built on Microsoft’s Universal platform for easy integration with other systems and Agency servers. The Mobile IAS will also support state-of-the-art encryption and other data security implementations as well.
The system also carries pre-populated forms for easy completion and submission into the MSHA Standardized Information System.
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