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An Analysis of Trainers' Perspectives within an Ecological Framework: Factors that Influence Mine Safety Training Processes
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  • Description:
    Background

    Satisfactory completion of mine safety training is a prerequisite for being hired and for continued employment in the coal industry. Although training includes content to develop skills in a variety of mineworker competencies, research and recommendations continue to specify that specific limitations in the self-escape portion of training still exist and that mineworkers need to be better prepared to respond to emergencies that could occur in their mine. Ecological models are often used to inform the development of health promotion programs but have not been widely applied to occupational health and safety training programs.

    Methods

    Nine mine safety trainers participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. A theoretical analysis of the interviews was completed via an ecological lens. Each level of the social ecological model was used to examine factors that could be addressed both during and after mine safety training.

    Results

    The analysis suggests that problems surrounding communication and collaboration, leadership development, and responsibility and accountability at different levels within the mining industry contribute to deficiencies in mineworkers' mastery and maintenance of skills.

    Conclusion

    This study offers a new technique to identify limitations in safety training systems and processes. The analysis suggests that training should be developed and disseminated with consideration of various levels—individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community—to promote skills. If factors identified within and between levels are addressed, it may be easier to sustain mineworker competencies that are established during safety training.

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