Open Cut

What Works Best at Improving Mine Worker Safety and Why Does it Work

Open Cut » Health and Safety

Published: August 02Project Number: C10031

Get ReportAuthor: Carmel Bofinger | SIMTARS

This research project was designed to provide a framework for the evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of safety programs and initiatives at all levels in the coal mining industry and to identify the key factors affecting the success of programs. This project was funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) with additional co-operation and in-kind support from mines in New South Wales and Queensland and SIMTARS.

Traditionally, the coal industry has tended to look at the downstream outcomes of safety programs such as accident statistics. These techniques are based on 'after the fact' accident statistics and the value of these statistics in terms of prevention is limited.

The project was conducted in three stages. In part 1, the key strategies currently in use in the industry were investigated and defined by using a survey to identify the drivers, complexity, regulatory requirements, and type of program, and use of incentives. Additional information was included from recent Queensland and New South Wales mining health and safety conferences. This information was used to set the safety programs investigated in part 2 in the industry context.

Part 2 of the project assessed selected safety programs and strategies at a site specific level. Assessments were undertaken at five sites and covered a range of programs. The evaluations followed the model for evaluation proposed for the project and covered both programs already in place and programs about to be implemented.

In part 3, these results were used to identify the key components of safety programs that lead to success.

The results of the analysis of the strategies and factors associated with safety programs at an industry level were consistent with the factors identified in the individual mine site programs evaluated. The model proposed for use in evaluating the programs was effective in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the programs.

The factors affecting the success of safety programs are complex and inter-related. It is not possible to identify a single factor that guarantees success. A model was developed to demonstrate the relationship between these factors. At the simplest level, the three major factors leading to success were identified as:

  • The clear identification of the need and objectives for the program;
  • Actual and perceived commitment by management;
  • Allocation of adequate resources, including timeframe.

Management commitment greatly influences the perceptions and impacts of the programs on individuals. These in turn affect the safety behaviours in the workplace. There are intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that must be consistent with the program to allow continued success. Intrinsic motivators include personal responsibility, achievement, skills and abilities. Extrinsic motivation is about the external consequences that support the behaviour or give information for improving the behaviour. These external motivators include task feedback, workgroup norms, control and management systems. These motivators are also influenced by management commitment and a number of environmental, organisational and individual factors.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25060Development Of Borehole Shear Monitoring Device For Routine Application In Coal Mine Roadways

This project outlines the development of a cost effective, routine s...

C26063Reliable Estimation Of Horizontal Stress Magnitudes From Borehole Breakout Data

The main objective of the project is to develop a reliable and simpl...

C26053Predict Stress State And Geotechnical Conditions Near Major Geological Structures Using Microseismic Technology And Distinct Element Modelling

Stress state and geotechnical conditions often change significantly ...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C25031Developing Closure Criteria For River Diversions: An Alternative To Reference Sites

The use of reference sites for establishing closure criteria in area...

C25025Guidelines For Estimating Coal Measure Rock Mass Strength From Laboratory Properties - Report A Empirical Approach And Report B Synthetic Rock Mass Models

This report combined different approaches to investigate the estimat...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

This project involved sampling of full-scale flotation circuits at ...

C250083D Flotation Of Fine Particles

In this project a process for the continuous, selective agglomeratio...

C25012Dewatering Of Ultrafine Coals And Tailings By Centrifugation: Pilot Scale Studies

Dewatering of ultrafine coal and tailings is a big challenge to the ...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C27047Combustion Characteristics Of Australian Export Thermal Coal Using Advanced Imaging Techniques

During pulverised fuel combustion, coal particles are rapidly pyroly...

C26044Physical And Chemical Interactions Occurring During Cokemaking And Their Influence On Coke Strength

This project builds onto a previous project , C24055 in which macera...

C27056Imaging Gas Penetration Inside Coals And Cokes And Determining Influence On Coke Reactivity

The suitability of cokes for use in a blast furnace is determined by...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

C24061Proof-Of-Concept Photocatalytic Destruction Of Methane For Coal Mining Fugitive Emissions Abatement

Australia's fugitive emissions in 2015 were 41 Mt CO2-e (representin...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook