Background. In 1999, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a worker safety and health training regulation for stone, sand and gravel mining operations. Previously, these workplaces had been exempt from federal requirements for mandatory safety training due to a congressional appropriations rider that had been in place since 1980.
Methods. An intervention time-series design was used to evaluate changes in quarterly injury and fatality rates from 1995 to 2006 at 7,998 mines affected by MSHA's Part 46 training regulation. The analyses involved 14 non-stationary data series of quarterly incidence data, with covariates for year-round versus seasonal operations, ownership, relevant standard industrial classification codes, and injury severity categories.
Results. The overall crude rate of fatal injuries per 200,000 employee hours declined 33 percent, from 0.025 in the pre-regulatory intervention period to 0.017 in the post-intervention period. Similarly, overall crude rate of injuries declined 19 percent, but these time series were dependent on time (i.e., non-stationary), and the reductions were merely consistent with temporal trends. Graphical plots of all but one of the 48-quarter data series provided no evidence of an intervention effect that could be attributed to MSHA's Part 46 training regulation. Rates of permanently-disabling injuries, however, declined markedly after the regulation took effect. Regression analyses indicated that miners working in the post-Part 46 period had 41 percent less risk of suffering a permanently disabling injury than in the period before the regulation took effect (RR=0.591 (95% C.I. = 0.529–0.661)).
Conclusion. There is little evidence that MSHA's Part 46 safety and health training regulation had an impact on overall fatality rates, or rates related to lost-time, restricted-duty or medical-treatment-only injuries. While it is plausible that there is a causal relationship between the regulatory intervention and the statistically significant decline in the rate of permanently-disabling injuries, inconsistency in the results preclude attributing the observed outcome to the intervention. Further analysis of data is needed.
|Commitee:||Verme, Dante, Windsor, Richard|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Public Health and Health Services|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-B 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Occupational safety, Mining, Public health|
|Keywords:||Fatalities, Intervention effectiveness, Mine safety, Occupational health and safety, Occupational injuries, Regulations, Safety training|
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