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Using Fault Tree Analysis to Focus Mine Safety Research
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    Fault tree analysis is a systematic safety analysis tool that proceeds deductively from the occurrence of an undesired event (accident) to the identification of the root causes of that event. One recurring mine safety problem—a dozer falling into a void over a drawpoint on a coal surge pile—was analyzed using available, inexpensive fault tree programs on a personal computer. The analysis identified basic and intermediate events that led to the burial of the dozer and graphically depicted the interrelationship between these various subordinate events as well as the various chain of events leading up to the primary event. A sensitivity analysis on these probabilities showed which events had the greatest influence on dozer burial in a coal surge pile.

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