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Keynote address- VPI conference.

Proceedings of the 20th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 29-31, 1989. Sutherland WH,Forshey DR Karmis M, eds., Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1989 Aug; :21-30
The proper utilization of human resources has a profound affect on the competitiveness of the American mining industry. American culture places a higher value on its skilled labor and demands greater safety and leisure time than that permitted by industries in the emerging third world countries. To remain competitive without compromising these values, American industry must not only work harder, but smarter. In the mining industry, this means not only taking advantage of new technologies, but also improving the fit between the highly skilled miner and the new high technology tools. Human factors research is the appropriate means of improving this fit. Too often, American management treats the human and technological elements of production as if they were separate and independent and spends most of its resources improving technology, not knowing or believing they can improve the human element. A more comprehensive and valid system perspective is provided by a human factors analysis of the human-machine-environment interface. The goal of human factors is overall system effectiveness, the two primary components of which are safety and productivity. While these two components are often considered to be mutually exclusive, several Bureau of Mines studies have shown that they are positively related. A well-run mine minimizes hazards as it streamlines production. Following a decline in productivity during the 1970's which was reversed in the 1980's, the Bureau investigated MSHA's accident statistics to see whether the positive relationship between safety and productivity still existed. It was found that the incidence rates for both fatal and lost-time accidents tended to be lower in years with the highest productivity: 1988, with the highest productivity, also had the lowest fatality rate; 1980, with the worst productivity, had the worst lost-time accident record.
Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Mineral-processing; Longwall-mining; Respirable-dust; Dust-control; Dust-exposure; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-suppression; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Sutherland-WH; Forshey-DR; Karmis-M
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 20th Annual Institute on Coal Mining Health, Safety and Research, Blacksburg, Virginia, August 29-31, 1989
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division