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Psycho-Social Issues in Mine Emergencies: The Impact on the Individual, the Organization and the Community
Retired Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2012; in revised form: 15 May 2012 / Accepted: 17 May 2012 / Published: 11 June 2012
Abstract: This paper draws on research conducted in the past two decades examining issues related to the human element in mine disasters. While much of the emergency response community employs a systems approach that takes into account psychosocial issues as they impact all aspects of an emergency, the mining industry has lagged behind in integrating this critical element. It is only within the past few years that behavioral interventions have begun to be seen as a part of disaster readiness and resiliency in the industry. The authors discuss the potential applications of psychosocial studies and suggest ways to improve mine emergency planning, psychological support, and decision-making during a response, as well as actions in the aftermath of incidents. Topics covered, among others, include an economic rationale for including such studies in planning a mine emergency response, sociological issues as they impact such things as leadership and rescue team dynamics, and psychological issues that have an effect on individual capacity to function under stress such as during escape, in refuge alternatives, and in body recovery. This information is intended to influence the mine emergency escape curriculum and impact actions and decision-making during and after a mine emergency. The ultimate goal is to mitigate the trauma experienced by individuals, the organization, and the community.
Keywords: underground coal mine; disaster behavior; judgment and decision-making; emergency expectations training; mine emergency response
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Kowalski-Trakofler, K.M.; Vaught, C. Psycho-Social Issues in Mine Emergencies: The Impact on the Individual, the Organization and the Community. Minerals 2012, 2, 129-168.
Kowalski-Trakofler KM, Vaught C. Psycho-Social Issues in Mine Emergencies: The Impact on the Individual, the Organization and the Community. Minerals. 2012; 2(2):129-168.
Kowalski-Trakofler, Kathleen M.; Vaught, Charles. 2012. "Psycho-Social Issues in Mine Emergencies: The Impact on the Individual, the Organization and the Community." Minerals 2, no. 2: 129-168.