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The Impact of Job, Site, and Industry Experience on Worker Health and Safety

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, USA
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Safety 2019, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5010016
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract

A debate exists about the impact of mineworker experience on health and safety (H&S). Studies often assert that length of time on the job (tenure) is negatively associated with accidents (i.e., new employees have a higher accident rate). However, inferences are all made based on reported incidents, whereas we know that underreporting is a problem in high-risk occupations. To that end, this study sought to examine how worker experience may impact a variety of H&S outcomes on the job. Comprised of three separate case studies with different H&S outcome variables, researchers broke down the results of several data sets that were collected from 3400 miners who worked in either underground coal, surface sand, stone, and gravel, or metal/non-metal to reveal any underlying trends among differing levels of experience on a specific job, with a specific company, and in the mining industry. Each case study is described in turn, using Kruskall-Wallis tests to determine the impact miners’ experience on hazard recognition accuracy (Case 1), self-escape confidence (Case 2), and safety compliance (Case 3). The results show that workers with more job experience possess higher levels of perceived health and safety skills, including the identification of hazards on the job. We discuss the impact of experience on several predictors of incidents, including perceived job knowledge and hazard identification, and perceived compliance on the job. Practitioners can expect to gain a greater understanding of their workforce, including actual differences and similarities to consider, when communicating pieces of their health and safety management system to training workers of all experience levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: compliance; hazard recognition; health and safety management system; risk avoidance; self-escape competence compliance; hazard recognition; health and safety management system; risk avoidance; self-escape competence
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Haas, E.J.; Eiter, B.; Hoebbel, C.; Ryan, M.E. The Impact of Job, Site, and Industry Experience on Worker Health and Safety. Safety 2019, 5, 16.

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