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Title: Slips trips and falls in Northern Ontario underground hard-rock mines
Authors: Sherrigton, Chelsea
Keywords: Slips;trips;falls;underground mining;mining;hard-rock mining;Northern Ontario
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2020
Abstract: Underground mining environments are dark, wet, and have uneven terrain that can create a risk for slips, trips, and falls (STFs). Ontario hard-rock mine workers are legally required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Underground miners also work in a dark and dusty environment with uneven terrain, many work shiftwork, and many work on or around large equipment. There is limited research on STFs in underground mining (Dobson et al., 2015) and to my knowledge workers in underground hard-rock mines have not been surveyed about their perceptions of STF risk factors. This study was conducted to advance understanding of risk factors for STFs in underground mines in Northern Ontario, with an aim to provide recommendations for underground safety guidelines, training procedures and future research. 152 underground workers from 2 mine sites in Northern Ontario completed a survey regarding STF in underground mining. The survey contained 16 open-ended and 6 closed-ended questions that addressed demographics, working roles, and perceptions of STF risk factors pertaining to personal, environmental, work task and PPE related factors. Closed-ended questions were coded and analyzed in SPSS. Open-ended questions were analyzed using the Braun and Clark. (2019) method of thematic analysis The top 10 identified risk factors included uneven terrain, puddles/holes, poor lighting, slippery surfaces, fatigue, getting in/out of equipment, clutter in the walkway, poor vision, walking long distances, and poor balance. Workers identified work environment as the primary component of STF risk, as 5 of the top 10 risk factors indicated are a sub-set of environmental factors. When asked what contributed to the risk of STF 29 of 152 underground workers discussed housekeeping and maintenance of roadways. 54.6% (n=83) of workers strongly agreed that climbing on/off equipment was also a major risk factor for STFs and ranked it 6 out of 10. Workers also identified fatigue as a risk factor as it was ranked 5 out of 10. 54% (n=82) agreed and 30.3% (n=46) strongly agreed that their personal level of fatigue was a risk factor for STFs. Responses indicated that 80.9% (n=123) and 52% (n=79) of workers felt that they were more likely to experience a STF towards the end of their shift and beginning of their shift respectively. Workers also indicated that they aware of the risk factors in their workplace as 59.3% strongly agreed to this statement. Future research on the top 10 identified risk factors (uneven terrain, puddles/holes, poor lighting, slippery surfaces, fatigue, getting in/out of equipment, clutter in the walkway, poor vision, walking long distances, poor balance) would be beneficial to further understand how each factor affects a worker’s risk of experiencing a STF.
Appears in Collections:Human Kinetics - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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