Escape from a Mine Fire: Emergent Perspective and Work Group Behavior.
J Appl Behavioral Sci 1991 Dec; 27(4):452-474
Fire (destructive burning on a scale that threatens serious harm) is an important sociotechnical problem. This article analyzes miner responses to a 1988 coal mine fire from a symbolic interaction perspective. Lengthy qualitative interviews were conducted with 21 miners caught in the blaze studied. The data show that workplace culture (e.g., the buddy system) conditions participant responses to a fire emergency and, in the case of miners, largely facilitates their efficient and effective escape to safety. The orientation shift away from routine work behavior into the short-term perspective associated with an emergency is problematic. Theoretical implications for organizational behavior and practical implications for mine safety are discussed.
J. Appl. Behavioral Sci., V. 27, No. 4, Dec. 1991, PP. 452-474