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Tell me a story: using narrative to train skilled blue-collar workers.
Risk and Safety Management in Industry, Logistics, Transport, and Military Service: New Solutions for the 21st Century. London: U.S. Navy, Office Of Naval Research, International Field Office, 2003 Mar; :1
Miners, like many skilled blue-collar workers, are not traditional learners. They have not generally been successful in classroom-type settings, preferring to learn on the job in a hands-on environment. U.S. miners are required to have annual safety training, but they rarely view this positively. In fact, it has been called "safety jai" by many of them, who regard it as a time to get a little extra sleep. The challenge then, was to find a way to develop effective safety training for these people, particularly in view of the fact that their work is among the most dangerous of all occupations. Miners are born story tellers. They share "near-miss" stories, stories about master miners they have known, and stories about how things used to be. These stories not only pass along information about what will happen if a miner fails to respect the mining environ-ment, they also instruct listeners in the culture of mining and the values it embraces. Stories, it seems, are a way to get safety messages to miners, especially inexperienced ones, and using older, wiser miners in these stories is an obvious choice. This paper will discuss how the training videos created to get safety messages to miners were developed, how "master miners" and story lines were chosen, and how the resulting videos have been received in the mining industry.
Workers; Training; Mining-industry; Miners; Safety-education; Education; Mine-workers
Risk and Safety Management in Industry, Logistics, Transport, and Military Service: New Solutions for the 21st Century, March 25-28, 2003, Tallinn, Estonia
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division