RISK AND COST ANALYSIS OF SAFETY VIOLATIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA COAL MINES

Open Access
Author:
Orsulak, Megan
Graduate Program:
Mining Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 20, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Antonio Nieto, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • coal mines
  • cost analysis
  • risk assessment
  • standard citations
  • safety
  • Pennsylvania
Abstract:
This paper presents an application of a risk assessment approach in characterizing the risks associated with major hazards in underground and surface bituminous and anthracite mines in Pennsylvania using the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) citation database throughout a period of three years from 2006 to 2008. The MSHA database on citations provides an opportunity to assess risks posed by hazards in mines through scrutiny of hazard-related violations of mandatory safety standards. In this study, quantitative risk assessment is performed, which allows determination of the frequency of occurrence of major hazards (through associated citations) as well as the consequences of them in terms of penalty assessments. Focus is on establishing risk matrices on citations experiences of mines and their penalties (dollars), which can give early indication of emerging potentially serious problems. The resulting frequency, consequence and risk rankings present valuable tools for prioritizing resource allocations, determining hazard control strategies, assisting in defining a benchmark for coal mines, and increasing productivity by reducing citation experiences.