Mining Publication: Training to Improve Emergency Communication Skills
This paper introduces a method for teaching workers to communicate necessary information when giving or receiving emergency warning messages. Research has shown that when an emergency occurs, people may not get the information they need to take appropriate action. Interviews conducted with 48 underground coal miners who had escaped mine fires revealed that the warning information provided was inadequate. In some cases, sufficient information was not provided to the endangered miners. At other times, miners failed to ask for information they needed to plan and execute effective escapes. Researchers from the NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory have been studying the content of emergency warning messages and have developed an emergency communication protocol. A training intervention that presents the protocol and related mental cues is being evaluated for effectiveness in improving the content of emergency messages. In this paper the protocol is presented and the training package described. The evaluation procedures and a summary of the analyses conducted to-date are also provided. The training package was developed for use with underground coal miners, but could easily be modified for emergency communications training in other settings.