Development And Test Of A Sociotechnical Model For Accident/Injury Occurrences In Underground Coalmines

Paul, P. S.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
Mine accidents/injuries are complex and generally characterized by several factors, from technical to social characteristics. In this paper, a sociotechnical model for work injury in mines was developed and tested through structural equation modelling with application to case study mines in India. In total 14 variables were considered in this study. Most of the variables are not directly quantifiable. Instruments were developed to quantify them through a questionnaire survey. Underground mineworkers were randomly selected for the survey. Responses of 300 participants were used for the analysis. The analysis was conducted in three parts. Firstly, high-low plots were constructed to explore the variations in responses to the questionnaires by the accident involved (AG) and non-involved (NAG) workers. Secondly, a t-test was conducted to see whether the responses were significantly different for the two groups or not. The chi-square results showed significant differences of responses among the two groups. Finally, how these difference scan cause accidents/injuries in mines was hypothesized and evaluated using structural equation modelling. The measurement model of the Linear Structural Relations (LISREL) program was used to identify the latent constructs of the sociotechnical model. The structural model of LISREL was used to estimate the interrelationships among the constructs. The case study results showed that there is a sequential interaction among the sociotechnical factors leading to accidents/injuries in mines. Work hazards induce more job stress in the workers while social support mitigates the same. Job stress and safety environment predict the workers? job involvement. A worker who is more job-involved exhibits better safety performance, which in turn reduces work injury. The safety environment is shown to have a direct mitigating effect on work-related injury. The findings of this study clearly revealed that job stress and safety environment are the two key factors influencing work-related injuries in mines that need to be addressed properly through effective safety programmes.
Full Article Download:
(677 kb)