Individual, Work and Organizational Factors
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen
Chapter 12: The case for the psychosocial safety climate to be recognized in mining disaster investigations
The concept of human factors in mining safety was recognized in the silver mines near Athens in Ancient Greece when the state took the rare step of issuing health and safety regulations forbidding the removal of support poles and the generation of excessive smoke from oil lamps, even though it was a slave workforce. Few would argue that after more than 3000 years of increasing contemplation and research, we are still short of translating our growing knowledge into optimizing safe human performance in the workplace. This chapter provides evidence that the psychosocial safety climate for worker psychological health and safety should be viewed as the overall job-stress leading indicator (which is greater than the sum of its parts) to identify more insightful incident investigation findings in mining disasters and, consequently, provide direct recommendations towards ensuring that people managing and operating mine sites are working in a safe context.
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