NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Modern management and loss control.

Schaffer L; Peay JM
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 23-25, 1988. Faulkner G, Sutherland WH, Forshey DR, Karmis M, eds., Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988 Aug; :81-90
For many years the Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior, has included in the wide range of research it conducts and sponsors a substantial number of projects devoted to making the work of miners safer in terms of work injuries and illnesses. The majority of these have to do with personal and workplace protective devices; equipment and process design to make both operation and maintenance less dangerous; and many kinds of miner training. Over the years, it became increasingly evident that the manner in which a mining operation is managed is as important to the safety and health of the miners as the equipment and training developed for their use. Accordingly, some research has been devoted to management attitudes, strategies, policies and practices that appeared to have a significant bearing on an operation's safety performance. The most common measure of such per­formance has been the data compiled by the Mine Safety and Health Administration from reports submitted by mines in compliance with 30 CFR 50. During the research about the management attributes that might have a significant effect on safety, it was observed that some mine managers viewed "safety" in much the same way as they viewed taxes: as a government-imposed cost of doing business that was not within a mine manager's power to influence. Other mine managers, however, had a much different view. They saw worker morale and cost saving benefits from creating systematic procedures for analyzing and administering such things as, for example, violations of standards reported by MSHA, deficiencies noted and discussed by employee safety committee members, worker suggestions for improved work practices, and workmens' compensation and disability claims. These managers usually had, as one would conjecture, the more profitable mining operations and the better labor relations, whether there was union representation of the workers or not. They were the managers who used modern management principles in the general management of their operations. Some of those principles were found to apply to safety management as well. Re­searchers could identify management practices and styles and find impressive correlations between them and safety results measured by the MSHA data. However, correlation alone, though it reveals and measures relationships, gives no proof of causal connection, not even in perfect correlation. Other analyses are necessary, usually of an experimental kind, to determine the causality relationships. It is that fact that made the development and field test of a model health and safety program a desirable research endeavor. The Bureau of Mines initiated such work in 1981. It continued through three realted projects until mid-1987.
Mining-industry; Miners; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Lost-work-days; Longwall-mining; Monitoring-systems; Models; Control-equipment; Control-methods; Control-technology; Injury-prevention; Injuries
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 23-25, 1988Proceedings of the 19th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 23-25, 1988
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division