Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

Epidemiology: a tool for risk analysis of mine injuries

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 490-500

Bhattacherjee, A.; Kunar, Bijay Mihir


A literature review on quantitative analysis of mine safety studies revealed that investigators use a wide range of statistical techniques for the analysis of mine injury data. Researchers have addressed the various issues of accident causation and prevention through analysis of mine injury data collected from mines. These studies are generally based on historical accident/injury data without considering the injured person/population at risk. In this paper, a public health approach, based on scientific methods of epidemiology, is presented to address mine safety issues. Epidemiology is the scientific study of disease and injury patterns among populations in time and space. Originally, epidemiology was concerned with epidemics of communicable diseases. Then it was extended to non-communicable diseases. Safety researchers found that epidemiologic methods are the best tools for injury research, because the occurrences of injury and the occurrences of disease are quite similar. As a result, some researchers started applying this concept to injury research. This paper presents some of the techniques used in epidemiologic studies and illustrates the application of a case-control study design to evaluate the role of some risk factors associated with injuries in underground coal mines. In this study, the injured persons were identified and, simultaneously, interviews were conducted to find the significant risk factors responsible for occupational injuries in coal mines.