Pilot Sample Risk Analysis for Underground Coal Mine Fires and Explosions Using MSHA Citation Data


Hustrulid, W. A. and Bullock, R. L.


After three decades of sustained continuous improvement of mine safety performances in the US, mine disasters in 2006 and 2007 compromised an excellent record and presented new challenges and vulnerabilities for the underground coal mining industry. In the aftermath of the incidents, formal investigations and new scrutiny of mine safety by the US Congress and expert study groups followed. The US Congress passed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), which mandated new laws to address the issues, including those related to mine fires and explosions from which miners must be protected. The National Mining Association-sponsored Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission report highlighted the role of risk analysis and management in identifying and controlling major hazards, such as fires and explosions. In this paper an approach is given for analyzing the risks for fires and explosions based on the Mine Safety and Health Administration citation database. Using 2006 citation data and focusing on subsystem failures, the methodology is applied to a database for a pilot sample of underground coal mines stratified by mine size and state.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Mine Safety; System Failures; Safety Violations; Risk Analysis

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2009 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2009