Effect of Text Message Guidance on Miners' Evacuation Decisions in an Emergency


Increasingly, underground miners have access to personal transponders capable of two-way text messaging. However, we could find no previous work that evaluates how effective text messages could be in providing early guidance to miners during an emergency. This preliminary work evaluates the effectiveness of text message guidance on miners' evacuation decisions during the early stages of an emergency. We used a survey based on real-life emergency scenarios to evaluate miners' response to directions relayed by text messages versus by a human. We recruited 37 miners from three shifts in an underground coal mine to participate in our survey. The results indicate that, while miners are likely to respond to the warning of imminent danger, their actions may not necessarily be consistent with the guidance contained in the text message. Rather, our respondents responded better to verbal cues from human interaction. This work provides insights into the response patterns for endangered miners in emergency situations and can be used to develop emergency response plans that make mine safer.

Meeting Name

2019 SME Annual Conference and Expo and CMA 121st National Western Mining Conference (2019: Feb. 24-27, Denver, CO)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Coal Mines; Miners; Surveys; Text Messaging, Emergency Response Plans; Emergency Scenario; Emergency Situation; Human Interactions; Response Patterns; Two Ways; Underground Coal Mine, Emergency Services

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2019 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2019

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