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Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Jul;42(4):1379-85. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.02.018. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Operator error and system deficiencies: analysis of 508 mining incidents and accidents from Queensland, Australia using HFACS.

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  • 1Industrial Engineering Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


Historically, mining has been viewed as an inherently high-risk industry. Nevertheless, the introduction of new technology and a heightened concern for safety has yielded marked reductions in accident and injury rates over the last several decades. In an effort to further reduce these rates, the human factors associated with incidents/accidents needs to be addressed. A modified version of the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System was used to analyze incident and accident cases from across the state of Queensland to identify human factor trends and system deficiencies within mining. An analysis of the data revealed that skill-based errors were the most common unsafe act and showed no significant differences across mine types. However, decision errors did vary across mine types. Findings for unsafe acts were consistent across the time period examined. By illuminating human causal factors in a systematic fashion, this study has provided mine safety professionals the information necessary to reduce mine incidents/accidents further.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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