Evaluating Equivalence of the Safe Performance Index (Spi) to a Traditional Risk Analysis


Following up on a recommendation by the Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission relative to the modification of the Australian risk assessment approach for application to U.S. mines, the authors had previously developed the Safe Performance Index (SPI) as a risk-based methodology. It was designed to assess the relative safety-related risk of underground coal mines regarding injuries and citations for violations of regulations. To determine whether it is equivalent to a traditional risk analysis, a Risk Index is developed in this paper using a traditional risk analysis that embraces the frequency and severity of accidents and violations of mine regulations in a final equation. This methodology is used to analyze the relative risk for all underground coal mines for the years 2007-2010, and the results are compared to the results obtained using the SPI. The comparison revealed that the SPI does emulate a traditional approach to risk analysis. A correlation coefficient of -0.89 or more was observed between the results of these two methodologies, and either can be used to assist companies, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), or state agencies in targeting mines with high risk for serious injuries and elevated citations for remediation of their injury and/or violation experience. The SPI, however, provides a more understandable approach for mine operators to apply using measures compatible with MSHA's enforcement tools. The SPI is also a transparent and reproducible approach for mine operators and federal and state enforcement agencies to apply.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Risk Analysis; Risk Index; Mine Safety; Performance Index; Safety Violation; Safety-Related Risk

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 Scientific Research Publishing, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2012