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|About 60 small surface coal mines in Pennsylvania participated in a program designed to improve safety performance in the workplace. The method involved the use of safety sampling and observation to assess the degree of safety exhibited by workplace behavior and conditions. Data were collected through the use of on-site safety instruments covering seven major occupational positions typical of small surface mines. Workplace events observed (acts and conditions) were assigned a hazard classification. Feedback was initiated to improve safety performance in areas failing to conform to appropriate safety standards. Results suggest that the variety of unsafe acts and conditions associated with the companies observed are extensive. Further, the experiences drawn from this pilot project have proven the need to pursue this behavioral approach. Future research should concentrate on subjecting the present approach to a strict experimental design involving randomly selected “poor risk” mines.|