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Mining Project: Assessing the Safety Culture of Coal Mining

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Principal Investigator
Start Date10/1/2008
End Date9/30/2012

To work with an outside consultant, Human Performance Analysis Corp., to assess the safety culture at U.S. coal mines.

Topic Area

Research Summary

Coal mining production continues to escalate every year to match the growing demand for electricity. Coal mining, however, is a very hazardous occupation as coal miners are more likely to sustain an injury or illness than workers in private industry (as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Thus, it is important to find new ways to protect workers as they mine coal to keep up with the energy demands.

One way to improve the safety and health at coal mines is to assess the safety culture at a mine. This four-year project involved working with an outside consultant, Human Performance Analysis Corp. to assess the safety culture at U.S. coal mines. The outside consultant trained NIOSH employees on best practices involved in conducting a safety culture assessment. Safety culture assessments were conducted at five underground coal mining companies using both quantitative and qualitative measures that had been previously validated.

This project produced recommendations to improve the health and safety of underground coal mines. These recommendations can be used by not only the five mines studied, but may also lead to future safety practices or regulations for the industry as a whole.