Risk, profit, or safety: Sociotechnical systems under stress

Erkan, Burcak
Ertan, Gunes
Yea, Jungwon
Comfort, Louise K.
Sociotechnical systems are designed to perform technical functions under organizational management for the benefit of society, but face major challenges in high risk operations such as mining. The mining industry in Turkey confronts a set of conflicting goals. Underground mining is a dangerous operation that creates continuing exposure to risk for miners who extract the coal. Yet, coal is an essential commodity for the growing Turkish economy, with mining operations now largely conducted by private companies seeking to maximize profit. Known strategies for managing mining operations to increase workers' safety exist and have been legally adopted in law and policy in Turkey, but require substantial investment of resources and time to put into practice. These same requirements in practice reduce profit to mining companies and slow production. The challenge is to balance these conflicting pressures in the mining industry to achieve low-cost energy for society, maintain safety for the miners, and ensure reasonable return on investment for mining companies. Achieving this balance in practice represents a classic collective action problem in which maximum benefit to the whole society can only be achieved by reasoned, informed action taken by multiple actors adapting to changing conditions under constraints of limited time and resources. These conflicting demands require a continual process of monitoring uncertain conditions, calibrating investment in safety in relation to cost of failure, and adapting to changing operating conditions in near-real time. We explore this set of conflicting pressures as a policy issue that confronts the mining industry globally, but inquire specifically into conditions that led to the deadly mine fire in Soma, Manisa, Turkey on May 13, 2014 as a study of a sociotechnical system under stress.


Safety risk assessment using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) during planning and budgeting of construction projects
Aminbakhsh, Saman; Gunduz, Murat; Sönmez, Rifat (Elsevier BV, 2013-09-01)
Introduction: The inherent and unique risks on construction projects quite often present key challenges to contractors. Health and safety risks are among the most significant risks in construction projects since the construction industry is characterized by a relatively high injury and death rate compared to other industries. In construction project management, safety risk assessment is an important step toward identifying potential hazards and evaluating the risks associated with the hazards. Adequate prio...
Monitoring reliability for a three-parameter Weibull distribution
Sürücü, Barış (Elsevier BV, 2009-02-01)
Control charts are widely used to monitor production processes in the manufacturing industry and are also useful for monitoring reliability. A method to monitor reliability has recently been proposed when the distributions of inter-failure times are exponential and Weibull with known parameters. This method has also been extended to monitor the cumulative time elapsed between a fixed number of failures for the exponential distribution. In this paper, we consider a three-parameter Weibull distribution to mod...
Predicting the outcome of construction incidents
Ayhan, Bilal Umut; Tokdemir, Onur Behzat (Elsevier BV, 2019-03-01)
Ensuring the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is the utmost essential issue for all construction projects. The problem with the construction industry is that even though there is a significant emphasis on safety requirements, for most of the contractors unless requested by the client or enforced by law, there is a tendency to undermine safety management to save money especially in the case of competitive bidding including incident collection systems. The objective of this study is to develop a model to ...
Safety assessment in megaprojects using artificial intelligence
Ayhan, Bilal Umut; Tokdemir, Onur Behzat (Elsevier BV, 2019-10-01)
Record keeping systems are gaining more importance in addressing safety problems in megaprojects. The information recorded is being converted into large data domains since it has become necessary to examine problems down to the last detail to deal with them properly. Due to a high number of attributes and the type of information, the data has a high level of heterogeneity. The aim of this paper is to propose an innovative safety assessment methodology to predict the possible scenarios and determine preventa...
Risk tolerance measure for decision-making in fuzzy analysis: a health risk assessment perspective
Kentel Erdoğan, Elçin (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2007-05-01)
In risk assessment studies it is important to determine how uncertain and imprecise knowledge should be included into the simulation and assessment models. Thus, proper evaluation of uncertainties has become a major concern in environmental and health risk assessment studies. Previously, researchers have used probability theory, more commonly Monte Carlo analysis, to incorporate uncertainty analysis in health risk assessment studies. However, in conducting probabilistic health risk assessment, risk analyst ...
Citation Formats
B. Erkan, G. Ertan, J. Yea, and L. K. Comfort, “Risk, profit, or safety: Sociotechnical systems under stress,” SAFETY SCIENCE, pp. 199–210, 2016, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/67419.