Citation-Related Reliability Analysis for a Pilot Sample of Underground Coal Mines


The scrutiny of underground coal mine safety was heightened because of the disasters that occurred in 2006-2007, and more recently in 2010. In the aftermath of the 2006 incidents, the U.S. Congress passed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), which strengthened the existing regulations and mandated new laws to address various issues related to emergency preparedness and response, escape from an emergency situation, and protection of miners. The National Mining Association-sponsored Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission study highlighted the role of risk management in identifying and controlling major hazards, which are elements that could come together and cause a mine disaster. In 2007 MSHA revised its approach to the "Pattern of Violations" (POV) process in order to target unsafe mines and then force them to remediate conditions in their mines. The POV approach has certain limitations that make it difficult for it to be enforced. One very understandable way to focus on removing threats from major-hazard conditions is to use citation-related reliability analysis. The citation reliability approach, which focuses on the probability of not getting a citation on a given inspector day, is considered an analogue to the maintenance reliability approach, which many mine operators understand and use. In this study, the citation reliability approach was applied to a stratified random sample of 31 underground coal mines to examine its potential for broader application. The results clearly show the best-performing and worst-performing mines for compliance with mine safety standards, and they highlight differences among different mine sizes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Compliance Reliability; Mine Safety; Safety Citations; Safety-Related Risk

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011