Title: The role of human factors and ergonomics in mining emergency management: three case studies

Authors: Tim Horberry; Tania Xiao; Ruth Fuller; David Cliff

Addresses: Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia ' Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia ' Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia ' Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia

Abstract: Mining is a complex and hazardous work domain. This paper presents three related research studies in mining emergency management, highlighting the contribution that human factors and ergonomics are making to this field. The first study investigates the challenges associated with the collection and management of information during underground coal mining emergencies from a human-centred perspective. The second and third case studies build on the first study: the second one focuses on decision making deficiencies in incident management teams and the final one examines organisational issues related to mining control rooms during emergencies. In each of these three research studies, the broad problem is first defined, then the work undertaken and results produced are described, and finally the implications and future work are presented. Following this, the human factors contributions to help create safe and efficient mining emergency management systems are discussed.

Keywords: mining emergencies; mining industry; minerals industry; human factors; ergonomics; emergency management; control rooms; stress; decision making; incident management; underground coal mining.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2013.057610

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2013 Vol.2 No.2/3, pp.116 - 130

Received: 12 Jul 2012
Accepted: 10 Apr 2013

Published online: 14 Nov 2013 *

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