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Tracking mine safety performance trends to assess the risk for a fatality

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 6, pp. 112-116

Kinilakodi, H.; Grayson, R. L.


The authors previously developed a methodology that combines injury and citation measures into an overall mine safety performance evaluation tool, called the safe performance index (SPI). It can be easily adopted by mine operators to monitor trends in their injury and citation experiences as a risk assessment method. In this paper, six normalized safety measures and the SPI are used to evaluate the health and safety risk that existed at mines in the two years preceding the occurrence of a fatality. The percentage of mines is given for which the risk was high or where trends of some of the safety measures indicated moderate risk. In 50% of the mines, this mine safety performance tracking method could have been helpful to the companies, state agency or the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in recognizing and addressing emerging problems with actions that may have been able to predict high-risk conditions, the fatality and/or other serious injuries. The approach would have given extra scrutiny to the risk for mines that encompassed 74% of the fatalities during 2007-2010.