Evaluating the Normal Accident Theory in Complex Systems as a Predictive Approach to Mining Haulage Operations Safety

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/268532
Title:
Evaluating the Normal Accident Theory in Complex Systems as a Predictive Approach to Mining Haulage Operations Safety
Author:
Do, Michael D.
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The Normal Accident Theory (NAT) attempts to understand why accidents occur in systems with high-risk technologies. NAT is characterized by two attributes: complexity and coupling. The combination of these attributes results in unplanned and unintended catastrophic consequences. High-risk technology systems that are complex and tightly coupled have a high probability of experiencing system failures. The mining industry has experienced significant incidents involving haulage operations up to and including severe injuries and fatalities. Although the mining industry has dramatically reduced fatalities and lost time accidents over the last three decades or more, accidents still continue to persist. For example, for the years 1998 - 2002, haulage operations in surface mines alone have accounted for over 40% of all accidents in the mining industry. The systems thinking was applied as an approach to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate NAT in mining haulage operations. A measurement index was developed to measure this complexity. The results from the index measurements indicated a high degree of complexity that exists in haulage transfer systems than compared to loading and unloading systems. Additionally, several lines of evidence also point to the applicability of NAT in mining systems. They include strong organizational management or safety system does not guarantee zero accidents, complexity is exhibited in mining systems, and they are interactive and tightly coupled systems. Finally, the complexity of these systems were assessed with results indicating that a large number of accidents occur when there are between 4 or 5 causal factors. These factors indicate the degree of complexity necessary before accidents begin to occur.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Mining Haulage Operations; Normal Accident Theory; Systems Approach; Tight Coupling; Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering; Complexity; Complex Systems
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Poulton, Mary M.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEvaluating the Normal Accident Theory in Complex Systems as a Predictive Approach to Mining Haulage Operations Safetyen_US
dc.creatorDo, Michael D.en_US
dc.contributor.authorDo, Michael D.en_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Normal Accident Theory (NAT) attempts to understand why accidents occur in systems with high-risk technologies. NAT is characterized by two attributes: complexity and coupling. The combination of these attributes results in unplanned and unintended catastrophic consequences. High-risk technology systems that are complex and tightly coupled have a high probability of experiencing system failures. The mining industry has experienced significant incidents involving haulage operations up to and including severe injuries and fatalities. Although the mining industry has dramatically reduced fatalities and lost time accidents over the last three decades or more, accidents still continue to persist. For example, for the years 1998 - 2002, haulage operations in surface mines alone have accounted for over 40% of all accidents in the mining industry. The systems thinking was applied as an approach to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate NAT in mining haulage operations. A measurement index was developed to measure this complexity. The results from the index measurements indicated a high degree of complexity that exists in haulage transfer systems than compared to loading and unloading systems. Additionally, several lines of evidence also point to the applicability of NAT in mining systems. They include strong organizational management or safety system does not guarantee zero accidents, complexity is exhibited in mining systems, and they are interactive and tightly coupled systems. Finally, the complexity of these systems were assessed with results indicating that a large number of accidents occur when there are between 4 or 5 causal factors. These factors indicate the degree of complexity necessary before accidents begin to occur.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectMining Haulage Operationsen_US
dc.subjectNormal Accident Theoryen_US
dc.subjectSystems Approachen_US
dc.subjectTight Couplingen_US
dc.subjectMining Geological & Geophysical Engineeringen_US
dc.subjectComplexityen_US
dc.subjectComplex Systemsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineMining Geological & Geophysical Engineeringen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorPoulton, Mary M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberYost, Raymond R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMomayez, Moeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPoulton, Mary M.en_US
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