NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Human Factors and New Mining Technology: The Importance of Organizational and Management Change.

Randolph RF; Fowkes RS
Proc Int'l Symp on Mine Mechanization & Automation V II Colorado Sch Mines 1991 II:16-9--16-18
New technologies confront mining organizations with unprecedented human factors challenges. Likely problem areas range from the design of the human-machine interface to the design of work groups and mine organizational structures. However, these human design considerations are commonly ignored in most industries, resulting in a failure rate of 75 pct for advanced technology programs. The U.S. Bureau of Mines is addressing these concerns through a program of research on the human side of high-technology mining systems. Interviews with mining industry participants and researchers have identified concerns in several areas, including training and equipment design. Based on these interviews and a review of the research, the sociotechnical systems analysis (ssa) approach has been selected as a comprehensive and systematic approach to melding the human and technological aspects of new, complex technologies. Ssa has been widely used, frequently with significant success. It advocates joint optimization of the social system (people and their interactions) and the technical system (tools, techniques, knowledge), since optimizing these independently does not lead to peak performance. Also, some of the formative research on ssa was performed in British longwall coal mines and a U.S. continuous mining operation. Ssa provides specific organizational manipulations and techniques that can be tailored to each organization and its technology.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 71-92
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proc. Int'l Symp. on Mine Mechanization & Automation, V II. Colorado Sch. Mines, 1991, Pp 16-9--16-18
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division