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Defining hazard from the mine worker’s perspective

Mining Engineering , 2016, Vol. 68, No. 11, pp. 50-54

Eiter, B.M.; Kosmoski, C.L.; Connor, B.P.



In the recent past, the mining industry has witnessed a substantial increase in the numbers of fatalities occurring at metal and nonmetal mine sites, but it is unclear why this is occurring. One possible explanation is that workers struggle with identifying worksite hazards and accurately assessing the associated risk. The purpose of this research was to explore this possibility within the mining industry and to more fully understand stone, sand and gravel (SSG) mine workers’ thoughts, understandings and perceptions of worksite hazards and risks. Eight mine workers were interviewed and asked to identify common hazards they come across when doing their jobs and to then discuss their perceptions of the risks associated with those identified hazards. The results of this exploratory study indicate the importance of workers’ job-related experience as it applies to hazard identification and risk perception, particularly their knowledge of or familiarity with a task, whether or not they had personal control over that task, and the frequency with which they perform that task.