A U.S. Bureau of Mines study of the relationship of management practices to safety at 10 underground coal mining companies is discussed. Rates of injuries and violations over a 5-yr period were computed, and companies were compared on the basis of (1) top management commitment to safety, (2) the labor relations climate, and (3) the use of five safety policies. The following policies were found to be associated with lower injury rates: special accident investigations beyond the legal requirements, safety discipline policies, and combined safety and production incentive plans. Companies with a positive labor relations climate had lower injury rates and fewer citations per mine than companies with a negative labor relations climate. Differences in top management's commitment to safety were difficult to discern. However, it was noted that most of the companies with better safety records had some type of relatively unique vehicle for promoting safety. These vehicles generally entailed employee participation in their implementation and evaluation and were promoted by a well-situated company advocate. Another factor found to be positively associated with a good safety record was the company's perceived financial future.
Training Resources Applied to Mng XV & XVI Proceeds., West Virginia & Pennsylvania State Univ., Pp 33-40