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Danger! Unsupported roof.
Coal 1990 Dec; 95(12):60-63
In most years, groundfall accidents are the leading cause of fatalities in the underground coal mining industry. Statistics from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicate that during the 5-year period 1984-88, 106 coal miners were killed by falls of roof and rib, and 4,135 miners were injured. Approximately half (47 pct) of the victims of these fatal accidents were in an area where no devices had been installed to support the mine's roof. The intent of this U.S. Bureau of Mines article is to provide guidance to the operators of underground mines concerning the use of techniques that may help to discourage miners from going under unsupported roof. Various strategies have been used to convince employees to avoid unsafe acts and/or adopt self-protective behaviors. This article evaluates five of these strategies with regard to their potential for helping to discourage miners from going under unsupported roof. The strategies are (1) incentives and feedback, (2) disciplinary actions, (3) fear communications, (4) employee participation, and (5) expressing management concern. It appears that mine operators currently rely primarily on threats of disciplinary action and safety lectures to discourage miners from going under unsupported roof. However, research on techniques for encouraging self-protective behaviors suggests that several other strategies might also be useful.
Mine-workers; Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Work-practices; Safety-practices; Safety-education; Behavior-patterns
OP; Journal Article
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division