Evaluating Equivalence of the Safe Performance Index (SPI) to a Traditional Risk Analysis


Following up on a recommendation by the Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission relative to the modification of the Australian risk assessment approach for application to U.S. mines, the authors had previously developed the Safe Performance Index (SPI) as a risk-based methodology. It was designed to assess the relative safety-related risk of underground coal mines regarding injuries and citations for violations of regulations. To determine whether it is equivalent to a traditional risk analysis, a Risk Index is developed in this paper using a traditional risk analysis that embraces the frequency and severity of accidents and violations of mine regulations in a final equation. This methodology is used to analyze the relative risk for all underground coal mines for the years 2007-2010, and the results are compared to the results obtained using the SPI. The comparison revealed that the SPI does emulate a traditional approach to risk analysis. A correlation coefficient of –0.89 or more was observed between the results of these two methodologies, and either can be used to assist companies, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), or state agencies in targeting mines with high risk for serious injuries and elevated citations for remediation of their injury and/or violation experience. The SPI, however, provides a more understandable approach for mine operators to apply using measures compatible with MSHA’s enforcement tools. The SPI is also a transparent and reproducible approach for mine operators and federal and state enforcement agencies to apply.

Share and Cite:

H. Kinilakodi, R. Grayson and S. Oyewole, "Evaluating Equivalence of the Safe Performance Index (SPI) to a Traditional Risk Analysis," Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2012, pp. 47-54. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2012.22007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] “Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act,” U.S. Congress, 16 May 2006, pp. 109-123.
[2] Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission, “Improving Mine Safety Technology and Training: Establishing U.S. Global Leadership,” 2006.
[3] H. Kinilakodi and R. L. Grayson, “A Methodology for Assessing Underground Coal Mines for High Safety-Related Risk,” Journal of Safety Science, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2011, pp. 906-911. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2011.02.007
[4] MSHA, “MSHA Takes Steps to Overhaul ‘Broken’ Pattern of Violations Program New Criteria Developed for Screening Mines,” 2010.
[5] MSHA, “MSHA Announces Tougher POV Provisions, Responds to OIG Audit,” 2010.
[6] M. P. Smith, “Statement of Solicitor of Labor before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies,” 2010.
[7] A. Iannacchione, F. Varley and T. Brady, “The Application of Major Hazard Risk Assessment (MHRA) to Eliminate Multiple Fatality Occurrences in the U.S. Minerals Industry,” 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pdfs/2009-104.pdf
[8] H. Kinilakodi and R. L. Grayson, “Assessing Small Underground Coal Mines for High Safety-Related Risk,” Mining Engineering, Vol. 63, No. 10, 2011, pp. 73-77.
[9] J. Joy and D. Griffiths, “National Industry Safety and Health Risk Assessment Guideline,” University of Queensland, Brisbane, 2007.
[10] National Academy of Sciences, “Fatalities in Small Underground Coal Mines” Bureau of Mines Open File Report, 1983.
[11] R. Peters and B. Fotta, “A Review of Recent Data Concerning Accidents Caused by Falls of Unsupported Roof,” Holmes Safety Bulletin, 1994.
[12] R. H. Peters, B. Fotta and L. G. Mallett, “The Influence of Seam Height on Lost-Time Injury and Fatality Rates at Small Underground Bituminous Coal Mines,” Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Vol. 16, No. 11, 2001, pp. 1028-1034.
[13] Z. A. Md-Nor, V. Kecojevic, D. Komljenovic and W. Groves, “Risk Assessment for Loader- and Dozer-Related Fatal Incidents in the U.S. Mining,” International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2008, pp. 65-75. doi:10.1080/17457300801977261
[14] J. Emerson, D. C. Esty, M. Jaiteh, C. Kim, M. A. Levy, V. Mara, A. de Sherbinin and T. Srebotnjak, “2010 Environmental Performance Index,” 2010. http://epi.yale.edu/file_columns/0000/0157/epi2010_report.pdf
[15] R. L. Grayson, “Invited Testimony on Mine Safety and Health Reform Legislation (H.R. 5663) before the U.S. House of Representatives,” Committee on Education and Labor, Washington DC, 2010.
[16] MSHA, “MSHA’s Open Government Initiative” 2010. http://www.msha.gov/OpenGovernmentData/OGIMSHA.asp
[17] www.minitab.com
[18] R. L. Ott and M. Longnecker, “An Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis,” 5th Edition, Thomas Learning Inc., Duxbury, 2001.
[19] J. Sharpe, “POV Proposal Has It All: Insult, Injury and Injustice,” The E-Newsletter on Safety and Health in Mining, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2011, pp. 9-10.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.