UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analytic assessment of safety training procedures in open-pit mining - case study: Letseng Diamonds mine Sello, Retsepile


For decades, the mining industry has been identified as one of the top dangerous industries to be employed in. Various efforts have been made to mitigate the safety risk in mining, and even though major improvements have been realized, zero harm has not yet been achieved. As such, many in the industry have shifted from the language and the pursuit of ‘zero-harm’ to focus on the reduction of fatalities and lost-time injuries. While engineering controls and barricading approaches have shown significant contributions to safety performance, researchers have identified the transformation of human behavior as paramount to harm reduction. Training has been identified as a key driver for changing behavior. However, the actual relation between training and injuries is not clear. This gap is addressed in this research. To determine the relationship between training and safety, a surface mine case study was examined. Safety and training data from Letseng Diamonds Mine, Lesotho, which employs 1,804 people to produce 126,000 carats of diamonds a year, is analyzed. A negative correlation is found between the number of injuries incurred and the number of employees who received annual refresher training. This finding confirms the need for safety training and establishes the necessity to train all workers effectively. In essence, results from this sample group and insights obtained from extensive library research on safety and training answer this main research question: Does training surface mine workers improve their safety? In this case, the answer is yes, the higher the number of workers who receive training, the fewer the number of injuries the mine experiences.

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