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Mining Program Area: Safety Culture


The purpose of this program area is to assess and better understand the safety culture of the underground coal mining industry and to make suggestions for methods mines can use to improve their safety cultures.

The primary research question is: What is the safety culture at coal mines?

One way to improve the safety and health at coal mines is to assess the safety culture. This project will assess the safety culture at five coal mines and will make recommendations to improve the safety and health of mine workers. These recommendations can be used by the five mines studied, but may also lead to future safety practices or regulations for the industry as a whole. Additionally, OMSHR plans to release a Safety Culture Assessment toolkit making all of the data collection instruments available so that any mine has the tools to assess their own safety culture.


OMSHR's approach to assessing safety culture in underground coal mines is unique because multiple methods for collecting data are employed. These methods include functional analysis, in-depth interviews, behavioral anchored rating scales, an organizational and safety culture survey, and behavioral observations. Using a mixture of five data collection methods allows for a comprehensive assessment of the safety culture at each mine.

OMSHR hired a contractor with experience conducting safety culture assessments in other industries, they provided data collection tools, training for OMSHR researchers, and assisted with one of the safety culture assessments.

A cumulative report summarizing the findings from the five safety culture assessments will be provided upon completion of the study.

Projects & Contracts

TitlePIsStart DateDescription
Assessing the Safety Culture of Coal MiningCarin Kosmoski10/1/2008A project to work with a consultant, Human Performance Analysis, to assess the safety culture at U.S. coal mines.
TitleContractorContract/IAG #Start DateDescription
Using Advanced Large-Format Energy Storage Technology in Underground MinesGeneral Electric Company200-2014-590359/1/2014A contract to provide mines with information on advanced large-format energy storage and a comprehensive survey of the leading technologies and their likely failure modes. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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