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Safety and health in mines research advisory board

Annual Review 1998


The application of risk assessment in the mining industry

The purpose of this project, carried out by HSL's human factors experts, was to review the introduction of risk assessment in the UK mining industry, assess the quality of such assessments and consider what constitutes best practice. The methodology and some initial work involving interviews and group discussions with a range of RJB Mining personnel, were reported last year. This year, the researchers have observed risk assessment training courses, role play exercises and auditing procedures. The RJB system and procedures have been compared with current HSE guidance.

It has been found that the system of risk assessment in RJB mines is suitable and sufficient; some minor modifications have been recommended. The introduction of risk assessments has constituted a major initiative within RJB, and has a higher profile than in some other industry sectors. Importantly, the promotion of risk assessment at all levels has been used as a vehicle to address a number of other safety management issues.

The effects of job security and incentives on accident reporting rates and safety behaviour

This project, being carried out at HSL, consists of a review of published research into the potential influences of job security and incentive schemes on accident reporting rates and other indicators of safety behaviour. The limited literature on the influence of job insecurity indicates that there is some association with accident reporting and risk taking behaviour. As regards incentive and reward schemes the research suggests that such schemes should be based on safety performance rather than the more commonly encountered number of lost time accidents. In this context safety performance relates to individuals demonstrating safe behaviour and making safety a priority in their work. Where incentives are solely based on accident rates, there is a growing consensus in the literature that this may suppress accident reporting.

Assessment of HMIM's accident analysis and investigation methodology

As reported last year, the objectives of this HSL project were to evaluate the current HM Inspectorate of Mines (HMIM) accident and incident classification scheme and to investigate the scope for any revision of the scheme aimed at better identification of the latent causes of accidents. An appraisal has been made of fatal and major accident data for 1995/96 and the views of HMIM operational staff sought on the current classification scheme.

The work was completed this year and the main findings are that, generally, the current classification scheme is considered to be thorough and well suited to its intended purpose. When compared with a range of alternative classifications, the HMIM scheme has the advantages of being more concise and easier to apply by inspectors. Minor revisions to the format and content of the current scheme have been recommended to facilitate statistical analysis of the data and identify accident trends.

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Updated 2009-05-22