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Modifying behavior to improve miners' hazard recognition skills through training.

Kowalski-KM; Fotta-B; Barrett-EA
Proceedings of the 26th Annual Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research, August 28-30, 1995, Blacksburg, Virginia. Tinney G, Bacho A, Karmis M, eds., Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1995 Aug; :95-104
This paper discusses the application of psychological principles to the critical problem of hazard recognition by miners. The U.S. Bureau of Mines identified fundamental psychological principles that could be employed to enhance the ability of miners to recognize and respond to threats in their dangerous work environment. The goal of this work was to identify concepts that could potentially lead to interventions to improve miners hazard recognition abilities and to modify their behaviors. An innovative training program, adapted from techniques used to train military observers in the identification of camouflaged targets, was developed by Bureau researchers and used in a hazard recognition study. This study, of the effectiveness of such an intervention, is presented to illustrate the feasibility of applying psychological principles to the task of hazard recognition. As researchers hypothesized, underground miners trained using visually degraded (realistically camouflaged representations of mine hazards) instructional materials, performed better on a follow-up hazard recognition performance measure than did miners trained using traditional materials in which hazards are made visually conspicuous for easy recognition. The authors suggest that this type of instructional material and this method of instruction are generally applicable for hazard recognition training in a variety of work environments.
Accident-prevention; Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Injury-prevention; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Safety-practices; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Training; Behavior-patterns
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Tinney-G; Bacho-A; Karmis-M
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 26th Annual Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research, August 28-30, 1995, Blacksburg, Virginia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division