September 2019
Volume 71    Issue 9

Assessing the quality of incident investigations and its effect on safety performance: A study of the Ghanaian mining industry

Stemn, Eric; Hassall, Maureen E.; Bofinger, Carmel; Cliff, David


Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration,

Incident investigation is of utmost importance in most high-risk industries and is often used to improve organizational safety. This study was undertaken to examine the content of past incident investigation reports to determine the effectiveness of the incident investigations. The study develops a semi-quantitative method to assess the effectiveness of incident investigations in the Ghanaian mining industry by evaluating the quality of past investigation reports. The assessment tool consists of five elements with several indicators and rating scales for assessing the quality of an investigation report as an indicator of the effectiveness of the investigation. The method was applied to 304 investigation reports of three Ghanaian large-scale gold mines, and the results correlated with incidence rates of the mines to determine if any relationship existed. The results showed that the mines differ significantly in the quality of their investigation reports, suggesting differences in the effectiveness of their investigations. In addition, the incidence rates of the mines negatively correlated with some elements of the assessment tool. In general, the method was found to be practically useful, as it is able to identify areas where incident investigation improvements are needed. 


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