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Development and application of safety culture matrix for underground metal mines and comparison of two companies

Şen, Ahmet
This study aims to prepare a safety culture matrix in the mining industry and apply it to see the differences and similarities at two different mines in Turkey. The first part of the study contains the creation of the matrix by applying semi-structured interviews with experienced miners in three underground metal mines (Company B, Company C and Company D). In the second part, the application of the matrix is carried out in two underground metal mines (Company A and Company B). 13 employees of underground metal mines participated in the first study. In the first study, for the creation of the matrix which includes 5 steps (generative, proactive, bureaucratic, reactive and pathologic) and 14 dimensions (OHS Training, Work Accident – Near Miss Notification and Reporting, Worker’s Commitment to OHS, Top Management’s Commitment to OHS, Technical Management’s Commitment to OHS, Management’s Supervision on Subcontractors, Emergency Management and Mine Rescue, OHS Priority to Production and Production Pressure, Ventilation, Ground Support, Mechanization, Planning, Internal Audit) and total of 70 cells, at least 2 to 5 semi-structured questions per cell asked to each participant. 111 employee of underground metal mines participated in the second study. At each time, 5 card which includes the information about 5 steps of 1 dimension is given randomly to the participant. They are expected to choose the card that reflects their company the best. After that, ANOVA and correlation analysis are carried out. Results showed that Company A has a higher safety culture maturity level than Company B for all dimensions. Moreover, engineers evaluate technical management’s commitment to safety significantly higher than underground workers. Another result is that employees with more than 10 years of experience evaluated the worker’s commitment to safety significantly higher that employees with less than 4 years of experience. Employees that have at least one accident evaluated communication, emergency management and mine rescue, and planning significantly lower than others. Finally, the results, limitations, suggestions, and implications of the study were discussed.