Development of a computer-based risk assessment tool for underground coal mines

Başayar Büyükkara, Fatma Nur
Underground coal mining remains one of the world’s most hazardous occupations. There are numerous hazards in a mine, such as gas, dust, noise, temperature, and high humidity. Besides, increasing number of occupational accidents in underground coal mines shows the importance of occupational health and safety in these workplaces. By means of Occupational Health and Safety Law No 6331, attention to health and safety in the workplace has grown in recent years in Turkey. In addition, conducting an occupational health and safety risk assessment is a legal obligation for all workplaces also including underground coal mines under the scope of the Law. Thus, preparation of a risk assessment both considering mining workplaces’ hazards, their unique characteristics, and satisfying legal obligations becomes a requirement for mining workplaces. The main objective of this study is to develop a computer-based risk assessment tool for underground coal mines in Turkey. The methodology of the study starts with collection of the occupational health and safety related Turkish legislations and gathering information about underground coal mines’ hazards. Then risk assessment steps were determined and an algorithm for the risk assessment was developed. After the determination of the modules’ headings and questions for each module, computer programs were searched to select the most appropriate one. Finally, computer-based risk assessment tool was developed with the selected program considering the developed risk assessment algorithm. This study is a pioneer one for underground coal mines because of the fact that prepared computer-based risk assessment tool is compatible with the Occupational Health and Safety Law, Regulation on Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment, Regulation of Occupational Health and Safety in the Mining Workplace, and other occupational health and safety related regulations. Tool is prepared as simple as possible and it is user friendly. Moreover, tool provides to update the risk assessment any time. Prepared computer-based risk assessment tool could be developed and adopted as an application which can be used by smart phones. In future studies, similar tools could be prepared for other mining workplaces and also for other sectors.


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Citation Formats
F. N. Başayar Büyükkara, “Development of a computer-based risk assessment tool for underground coal mines,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.