Click for next page ( 96


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 95
6 Training U nder threat-to-life conditions, a person wants to have a maximal chance of escaping alive. An important way to maximize those chances is by preparing the person to perform effectively and con- fidently under those conditions, and sound training is a key contributor to being well prepared. Designing and delivering effective training is similar to shooting an ar- row at a target: a person has to be able to see the target clearly; take into account the conditions that might affect the shot; select an arrow that fits the situation; fire the arrow at the target with good form; check to see how close your shot came to the bull’s eye; and make corrections before the next shot. If one leaves out any of these steps, the person will shoot poorly or not hit the target at all. Similarly, in training, one has to have a clear and specific view of the goal of the training; take into account the conditions that might affect training; select the training methods that fit the training situation; deliver the training using best practices; verify how close the training came to having the training goal; and make any corrections neces- sary to improve the next training opportunity. There are several excellent reviews of the training design and delivery process that provide a comprehensive discussion of these issues: see, espe- cially, Noe (2010); Brown and Sitzmann (2011); and Cannon-Bowers and Bowers (2011). In this chapter, we discuss the processes that seem to be most relevant to the mine self-escape task. We also discuss aspects of train- ing content and current industry practice that are relevant to self-escape. 95

OCR for page 95
96 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES CURRENT TRAINING IN THE MINING INDUSTRY Required Training Safety training in the U.S. mining industry is regulated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Requirements set out which miners must be trained, how much training is required, who may provide the training, and the subject areas that need to be covered.1 As noted ear- lier, much has changed in the training of miners, as well as the resources available to them, since the mandates of the 2006 MINER Act: quarterly hands-on training on the use of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs) and es- capeway drills, the location of caches of additional SCSRs positioned along escapeways, and the availability of gas detectors, directional lifelines, refuge alternatives, and wireless communication and tracking systems. The regulations on relevant training have been organized around new miners, experienced miners, and annual refresher training. New miners, before they start work duties, are required to receive no less than 40 hours of training. New miner training consists of instruction in 14 areas:  1. statutory rights of miners and authority and responsibility of supervisors,   2. self-rescue and respiratory devices,   3. mine transportation and communication,   4. work environment,   5. escapeways and emergency evacuation,   6. roof and ventilation plans,   7. health,   8. rock dusting,   9. hazard recognition, 10. electrical hazards, 11. first aid, 12. mine gases, 13. health and safety aspects of relevant tasks, and 14. other subjects required by the district MSHA manager based on mine conditions. (adapted from Title 30 CFR § 48.5) Experienced miner training and annual refresher training cover many of the same areas. The regulations spell out when experienced miner training is required (see Appendix A). All employed miners are required to receive a minimum of 8 hours of annual refresher training. 1  uch M of this summary draws on the regulations applicable to training for self-escape from underground coal mines, in Title 30 CFR Parts 46 and 48; see Appendix A for more details.

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 97 Although all the training areas have the potential to increase miners’ familiarity with mine-specific resources and protocols and as such equip miners with the knowledge necessary for self-escape, areas (2) and (5) have been recognized as most pertinent to self-escape. For area (2), miners are instructed on the use, care, and maintenance of self-rescue and respiratory devices. They must receive hands-on training in the complete donning of all types of devices used at the mine and in transferring between devices. For area (5), instruction is required to orient miners to the mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program approved by the district manager (un- der Title 30 CFR § 75.1502). Such instruction is supposed to include a review of the mine map and escapeway system, as well as methods for barricading when necessary. As a result of the 2006 MINER Act, training on self-rescue, respiratory devices, escapeways, and emergency evacuation are now required quarterly as part of mine emergency evacuation training and drills (see discussion in Chapter 2). Instruction is now expected to emphasize the importance of not removing the SCSR mouthpiece, even to communicate, from respiratory devices. “Expectations training,” which includes the donning and transfer- ring of SCSRs in smoke or equivalent degraded environment and the use of training units that provide the sensation of SCSR airflow resistance and heat, is required annually. In the evacuation drills, miners are required to travel the entire primary or alternative escapeway and to physically locate lifelines, SCSR caches, refuge alternatives, and other self-escape resources. In addition to knowing the location of refuge alternatives, miners are required to review quarterly the procedures to deploy and use refuge alternatives and their components as well as to be trained on the proper transportation of refuge alternatives and components. Annually, they are expected to experience the deployment and operations of refuge compo- nents. They are supposed to be instructed when to use refuge alternatives during an emergency, with emphasis on using as a last resort if escape is possible. Training Gaps Today’s mine safety training programs appear to emphasize training du- ration and frequency rather than training to mastery. The committee heard from several stakeholders that current self-escape training is not satisfactory to meet the needs of miners. The Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission (2006), in its review of mine safety in underground coal mines, recognized that existing training requirements do not adequately address all areas needed to improve miners’ ability to escape in mine emergencies: see Boxes 6-1 and 6-2. The commission acknowledged the mining industry would need to consider providing miners with additional training beyond

OCR for page 95
98 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES BOX 6-1 Self-Escape Skill and Knowledge Areas • Knowledge of Escape/Rescue Technologies: Miners must be competent in the use of the technologies designed to assist them during an emergency situation. They must be proficient in the use of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), directional lifelines, refuge chambers, gas-monitoring devices, and similar types of technologies. As a last resort, they must also be famil- iar with how to construct a proper barricade. • Mine-Specific Knowledge: Miners must be intimately familiar with their mine’s escapeways, ventilation system, mine map, SCSR storage loca- tions, lifelines, escape capsules, communication networks, and other emer- gency systems. In addition, miners must be proficient in the specifics of their mine’s emergency response/evacuation plan and related mine-rescue protocols. • Escape/Rescue Conceptual Knowledge: A key escape/rescue competency often overlooked is the ability of miners to think and adapt to changing emergency situations. Miners must have effective problem-solving and decision-making skills. The ability of miners to define the nature of their problem, identify alternative escape strategies, effectively use available technology, and execute their decisions all depends on their ability to think conceptually. Conceptual knowledge is a higher level of understanding. It is not gained by rote instruction alone. Instead, it is attained by exposing learners to good and bad examples of the concept they are trying to un- derstand. Miners can better understand the concepts of self-escape if they are exposed to various types of mine disaster scenarios.* *Federal regulation currently requires coal mine operators to identify four different scenarios using fire, explosion, inundation of gas and water, in their mandatory Firefight Evacuation Plans. A different scenario is required for each 90-day Firefight Evacuation Drill. SOURCE: Adapted from Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission (2006). what is required by law in order to adequately prepare them for emergency situations. Across the mining industry, the capacity to provide adequate escape training seems to be inconsistent. A recent review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2007, p. 3) found Underground coal mine operators face significant challenges preparing for emergencies, including ensuring that miners receive realistic training and organizing mine rescue teams that satisfy new requirements. Mine operators recognized the importance of providing emergency training in a simulated environment. However, on the basis of our survey results, an

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 99 estimate of 81 percent of mine operators considered the availability of special training facilities for providing such training as a challenge, and 70 percent considered the costs of providing simulated training as a challenge. The committee was informed that despite training development done by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, MSHA, some universities, and some mine operators, on the quality and quantity of escape training, there is still room for improvement to ensure that all mine per- sonnel can effectively escape a mine emergency. This conclusion applies to BOX 6-2 Specific Training Elements to Maintain and Improve • Self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) Donning/Transfer: This is a fundamen- tal escape skill. If miners do not have the ability to quickly don their SCSRs, they have no chance of successfully escaping through carbon monoxide (CO), smoke, or both. Miners need hands-on training in the SCSR donning (and transfer) procedure. In addition, SCSR training needs to be repeated frequently, or it tends to be forgotten. • SCSR Expectations: SCSR expectations training involves having miners actually breathe through their SCSRs to provide them a realistic idea of what to expect from the device in an emergency. • Simulated Smoke: Again, realistic experiences prepare miners for the sen- sations they may experience in emergencies. • The Effects of CO: Increased training on the dangers posed by CO may encourage early donning of SCSRs and improve the ability of miners to self-escape. • The Concept of Ventilation Leakage: Excess smoke in mine pathways may be the result of ventilation leakage and not specifically tied to the sig- nificance of an existing fire. Such smoke can be walked through. A better understanding of this concept may improve the problem-solving ability of miners confronted with such situations. • Wayfinding: Wayfinding or being “mine wise” is a miner’s knowledge of al- ternative escape routes other than the primary escapeway. It also involves the ability to use alternative directional devices, such as track and belt lines to successfully exit a mine in limited visibility. • Effective Warnings: Miners and responsible surface personnel need to know how to provide and receive accurate information as to the nature, location, and severity of a problem. • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills: Miners could benefit from ad- ditional training to develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills in emergency situations. SOURCE: Adapted from Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission (2006).

OCR for page 95
100 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES almost every aspect of escape behavior training, from donning, removing, and exchanging SCSRs to working effectively as an escape group. Although there are exceptions, escape training programs in the industry seem to be oriented primarily toward “checking the box” of minimal compliance with federal and state training criteria. The committee was told that miners seldom have to demonstrate mas- tery of a skill, but, instead, they just have to attend the required training. We also learned that programs for preparing and certifying self-escape trainers are few and of variable quality. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2007), MSHA’s monitoring of training and certified instructors is insufficient. Although MSHA has guidelines for the approval of new instructors, it allows variance in the processes for approval across districts. The report also notes that MSHA “does not have continuing edu- cation requirements for instructors . . . and does not ensure that they keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Further, MSHA does not adequately monitor instructors or evaluate training sessions, and does not assess how well miners are learning the skills being taught” (p. 4). The number of training facilities capable of preparing miners and re- sponsible persons in self-escape appears to be insufficient, especially with regard to facilities that have the capability of simulating mine fire conditions and providing integrated training between miners, responsible persons, and the surface communication centers. A recent inventory of coal mine rescue training capabilities and facilities (Bealko et al., 2009) found 12 facilities in the United States that offer what is considered real-life training activi- ties or features that could enhance training. And of these, only eight are readily available public facilities. The other facilities are either government research, academic, or privately owned facilities. Only one of the public facilities was recognized as providing training to individual coal miners to respond to mine emergency conditions: most of the facilities were focused on preparing mine rescue teams. The inventory considered the provision of 11 basic features and training capabilities (e.g., firefighting, navigation in smoke, water rescue, incident command) and determined that compre- hensive regional facilities do not exist in the United States. The inventory (Bealko et al., 2009) did acknowledge that existing facilities are providing some kinds of realistic and hands-on training experiences. Currently, a source of best practices and sharing of training programs on mine health and safety is an annual mine instructors conference held by MSHA at the National Academy for Mine Health and Safety (in Beaver, West Virginia). The primary objective is to train and retrain the MSHA mine instructors; a secondary objective is to perform outreach to the min- ing industry as a part of the agency’s Educational Field Service (EFS). At present, there are a very few programs at the annual conference on training

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 101 miners to escape, and there are no programs that focus on the responsible persons and support to escaping miners. The MSHA academy has the potential to expand escape training and offer programs on training in an integrated way. It could also be a venue for training on curricula developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on effective tools and their proper use. Other examples of existing sources of training include the many health and safety papers and presentations held in conjunction with the American Society of Safety Engineers, the International Society for Mine Safety Professionals, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association,2 vendor training programs, and various state coal min- ing institutes. PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING DESIGN There are a number of “best practice” principles and tools available through the work of both researchers and practitioners (for a thorough review, see Salas et al., 2012). The general principles apply regardless of whether the students are miners, members of a responsible person team, or trainers learning how to be better trainers. For discussion purposes, the rest of this chapter focuses on developing training for miners and members of responsible person teams. One of the fundamental conceptual principles is that effective train- ing is developed through a systematic process (Goldstein, 1986; Brown and Sitzmann, 2011; Salas et al., 2012). The essential elements include (1) conducting a training needs analysis that would include task, systems, and critical incidents analyses (see Chapter 3), (2) developing objectives and a design, (3) pilot testing that design, and (4) evaluating both the learners and the design. These steps are taken within the context of also consider- ing how the learners will best absorb and retain what the training seeks to deliver, how the learners will accept or engage with the training, and how the training will facilitate transfer of the requisite knowledge, skills, abili- ties, and other personal attributes (KSAOs) back to the work environment. As Brown and Sitzmann (2011) note, one key conclusion is to make training as similar as possible to what the learners will have to actually do on the job (Holton and Baldwin, 2003). This conclusion essentially captures the military doctrine of “train as you fight” and the importance of psycho- 2  he T association, begun in 1916, is a private, nonprofit organization that recognizes achieve- ments in mine safety; it gives annual awards and publishes a bulletin containing mine safety information. It includes representatives of federal and state governments, mining organiza- tions, and labor unions.

OCR for page 95
102 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES logical similarity between the training experience and the actual application (i.e., escape under threat-to-life pressure and adverse conditions). Training is but one intervention that may be called for to enhance success in escape scenarios. The scope of interventions that should be con- sidered will be defined by a needs analysis. Once the needs analysis points to training as a key element, analyses of tasks, critical incidents, and the system in which escapes take place, are required to provide the basis for the content and design of the training needed. A task analysis and related training needs analysis make the target of your training clear and reveal priorities regarding what should be trained. Research on training provides a number of evidence-based best prac- tices for training design and delivery (Noe, 2010; Brown and Sitzmann, 2011; Salas et al., 2012) that can be key resources for mining industry personnel responsible for training or management. In particular, Salas and his colleagues (2012) not only list and review best practices, but they also provide tables and checklists for the pre-training, in-training, and post- training periods. Among those practices listed is the conduct of a training needs analysis. As part of that assessment, a task analysis, critical incidents analysis, cognitive task analysis, and team and system task analyses can specifically define the KSAOs that need to be trained, as well as relevant choice points, technologies, and conditions under which specific KSAOs should be demonstrated. For the task of self-escape, such an analysis would cover the tasks, behaviors, decision points, technologies, competencies, and conditions of the self-escape for miners. Accompanying the task analysis would be a general analysis of the organizational climate and the extent of its readiness and support for this training. Organizational obstacles, negative supervisory attitudes, or lack of resources for effective training and its transfer would have to be resolved before expecting good training results. When organizational leaders sup- port a particular training, the result of the training is improved (Salas et al., 2012). A similar outcome might be expected from support by union leaders, foremen, and formal and informal leaders among section crews in mines. To promote motivation and accurate perception of the training, Salas and colleagues (2012, p. 83) emphasize that “organizations should prepare and encourage supervisors, mentors, and team leaders to have effective conver- sations with trainees prior to training.” Lastly among the training analyses would be a work force analysis. A work force analysis will help the industry, and perhaps individual mines, determine whether the mode of training needs to accommodate changing employee demographics and any variations in miners’ capacities to learn. As noted to the committee, the work force of the coal mine industry may be shifting, with an increase in younger workers as well as those with primary languages other than English. Several researchers make a case for training

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 103 older workers differently than younger workers (Mayr and Kliegl, 1993; Mead and Fisk, 1998; Salas et al., 2012). As younger miners enter the work force, this population might be more engaged in training that is presented through computers, virtual reality formats, or the Internet. Although digital training should not replace high-fidelity simulation or hands-on experience in threat-to-life training, it might be appropriate and effective for por- tions of self-escape training, such as case-based decision making, problem detection and awareness, medical and refuge decision criteria, common wayfinding mistakes, and best practices, presented digitally prior to actual practice. Older employees may respond better to highly structured practice and traditional instructional materials (Salas et al., 2012). Another important difference to keep in mind in assessing the work force is the difference between mine employees and contracted employees. Currently, about one-fifth (about 10,000) of the workers in underground mines are contractors. There is uncertainty about these workers in several regards: the training they have received; their familiarity with the layout of a particular mine; their skills for using available escape equipment and technologies; their knowledge of the authority for and in response to deci- sions; and group dynamics when contracted employees are part of a group in an emergency. TRAINING MINERS FOR SELF-ESCAPE A systematic and industry-wide approach to training for miners would be beneficial for the miners and the industry. Such an approach would focus on the two critical parties to mine self-escape: (1) an individual miner alone and as a member of an escape group, and (2) the responsible team, which consists of the responsible person, the people staffing the communications center at the mine site, and the other one or two people who are designated to assist the responsible person during the escape process. It is clear from the extensive list of tasks given to the responsible person (see Appendix A) that the person cannot perform the tasks alone: she or he will necessarily rely on other miners for assistance. Regardless of the composition of the team, or of other duties they perform when mine operations are nominal, each member of a responsible person team needs to be fully capable at all times for assuming the responsible person team role. Training is an impor- tant component in the preparation of the miners, the responsible person, and the responsible person team. Across the mine industry as a whole, training for these critical groups appears to take place with little integration between them. Separate training is required for each of the groups; however, there seems to be few instances in which coordinated training occurs. The importance of integrated training is that it gives an opportunity for the groups to exercise their interrelated

OCR for page 95
104 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES roles and identify opportunities to improve the way an escape is coordi- nated and information is exchanged. Although at times this may involve a mine-wide exercise, great gains also can be made using a responsible person team and only one work group of miners. Such a partial simulation would most benefit the surface personnel, who will have to periodically refresh their familiarity with escape procedures, and it is a good way to establish responsible person team procedures before applying them to mine-wide in- tegrated drills. The ultimate goal for training, however, is a fully integrated emergency response drill among everyone who would be involved in an escape situation, conducted on a regular basis (see Recommendation 1 in Chapter 2). Types of Escapes Before an escape begins, the decision must be made as to whether the emergency can be resolved and so obviate the need to escape. The detection and evaluation of the emergency and the kinds of decisions required to stay and resolve the emergency would be important elements in any comprehen- sive training program. As a first and obvious step, safety values need to be in place as part of prevention so that miners take care to avoid any actions that could start a fire or cause another emergency. As noted in previous chapters, the committee learned during its work that every mine and every emergency situation is unique. However, there are some fundamental similarities as well. In Chapter 3, an example of a preliminary self-escape task analysis for underground miners is illustrated. That task analysis was useful in highlighting escape behaviors and potential decision points as well as identifying conditions that characterize different types of escapes. Table 6-1 identifies six basic circumstances, based on way- TABLE 6-1  Basic Circumstances of Escape and Their Wayfinding and Communication Implications Kind of Escape Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Individual Escape No visibility Partial visibility Good visibility No speech No speech Full speech Tactile wayfinding Tactile and visual Visual and verbal wayfinding communication and wayfinding Group Escape No visibility Partial visibility Good visibility No speech No speech Full speech Tactile communication Tactile, visual, and sign- Visual and verbal and wayfinding signal communication communication and and wayfinding wayfinding

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 105 finding and communications implications of possible environmental condi- tions, under which mine escapes occur, regardless of variations in the mines or personnel. These basic circumstances are further defined by whether the escaping miner is alone or in a group. The environmental conditions deter- mine the technology that will have to be used, as well as the functional limi- tations of the individual or group during the escape. Essential to wayfinding and decision making, sight and speech are key functional capabilities and may or may not be possible. These capabilities will be affected in part by smoke or limited lighting, which can restrict visibility, and the widely used SCSR technology, which limits speech. Therefore, miners must be trained to deal effectively with all six of the basic escape circumstances. During any specific escape, a miner is likely to experience more than one of these six circumstances over the course of the escape. A miner may be in thick smoke and with an SCSR and later come into fresh air, or vice versa; visibility may come and go as the escaping miner makes his way through escapeways; a miner also may begin in a group and then later become separated from that group, or vice versa. Training Across Types There will be important variances in a task analysis according to each circumstance and, consequently, variances in the specific training needed. For a complete picture, a task analysis is also needed for the job tasks of the responsible person and the responsible person team during an escape. We can see that teamwork training, discussed further below, will be necessary for miners in Type 2 and, especially, Type 3 conditions, as well as for the responsible person and his team in all instances. Training designers should first address the worst-case scenario: an indi- vidual miner who is forced to escape by himself in thick smoke or darkness while wearing an SCSR that prevents speaking. Addressing the worst-case scenario first assures that all personnel in the mine share a common basic skill set and wayfinding ability. Comprehensive basic training will build confidence within the individual miner about leading a group out or fol- lowing a leader on a tagline3 under Type 1 conditions. It will also serve as a knowledge base from which each miner can contribute to group decision making if they are escaping under better conditions. Because of the potential for shifting environmental conditions, indi- vidual miners have to be able to manage themselves and the appropriate technologies for each of these conditions. Thus, every miner must not 3  tagline is a long heavy-duty rope with tethers spaced at even intervals, designed to link A members of a mine crew together in the event of an emergency, particularly in dense smoke and little or no lighting.

OCR for page 95
108 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES who have not demonstrated team coordination competency under Type 3 conditions cannot be assumed to have the skills necessary to facilitate min- ers’ escapes. Type 2 and Type 3 circumstances permit more knowledge to be shared through vision and within-group communication, in contrast with Type 1, in which the group will have to rely heavily on the knowledge of the leader. Type 3 conditions are well suited for training that covers leadership and followership behavior, maximizes the exchange of wayfinding and status information, and promotes effective courses of action. Also under Type 3 conditions, the responsible person and his delegates and the communica- tion center have an opportunity to work as a team to solicit, discuss, and provide information with escaping miners. Leaders and Followers Both leadership and followership become important skills under any of the escape types. It is easy to understand how someone connected to a tagline and following a leader through thick smoke would want the leader to be fully and recently trained on wayfinding and making critical decisions about direction, resource locations, and refuges. Leaders on taglines must not only be well trained on these things must be visually identifiable as such, perhaps miners who have demonstrated competency in mine escape should be given a reflective helmet tag or some other identifiable symbol. Since an escape group also is likely to encounter Type 2 or 3 conditions during its escape, leadership training needs to include verbal leadership skills, such as soliciting information and opinions from others, exchanging information with the responsible person team, delegating, decision mak- ing, laying out alternative courses of action, communicating intentions and rationale, setting up and managing a refuge group. The demands of escape conditions and the degree of time pressure will determine naturally the extent to which the group is able to discuss various alternatives. When there is time and the ability to speak, more group discussion and follower input can take place; when time is critically short, what is said must be concise and and clearly understood, and the leader needs to be able to be more autocratic. When to listen and when to dictate is an important deci- sion requiring good judgment, so training for leaders also needs to include situational leadership. Followership is equally critical to successful team functioning under stress. To promote escape success, the follower role includes providing factual data openly for the team and leader to consider, as well as provid- ing one’s own recommendations, rationale, and reminders. In an escape situation, great responsibility is placed on the leader and followers to share information. Under Type 2 and 3 conditions, communication can be done

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 109 with pointing, signals, signs, and language. When to speak and when to keep quiet and when to insist and when to defer are all part of both lead- ership and followership. During a Type 1 escape, reminders and guidance sometimes can be shared by mumbling through the SCSR and through shoulder taps and other tactile ways. Followership should be taught in conjunction with leadership. Some rules for communication that could be useful in a mine emergency, especially between personnel on the surface and miners underground, are available from research on training: • Repeat back key pieces of information to make sure it was under- stood correctly. • Talk in “to do” statements rather than abstract statements (Chang et al., 2010). • State key pieces of information stated first to ensure that receiver understands the context of what is being communicated (Bransford and Johnson, 1972). • To the extent possible, having the same person(s) consistently on both ends can lead to a feeling of comfort and also less likelihood for misunderstandings (Gary Klein, MacroCognition LLC, per- sonal communication). Responsible Person and Team Training Currently in the mine industry, attention seems to be on isolated train- ing for an individual responsible person (U.S. Department of Labor, 2008). This is important of course, but the responsible person does not function alone during an escape. Under the current regulations, the responsible per- son must be trained to cover an enormous number of tasks in the event of a mine emergency. It is a bit unrealistic to expect one individual to meet all of these needs, especially when he/she may not be immediately available: if the responsible person is underground when an emergency begins, miners’ escape efforts may be unnecessarily delayed while the communications cen- ter tries to contact him or her. Even if the responsible person is in contact with the communication center, one may likely concentrate on assuring that all miners are evacuated safely to the surface then making decisions focused on addressing the hazard itself. The responsible person needs to be aware of how decisions affect the self-escape efforts and must be trained to facilitate and aid the evacuation of miners. This must be a primary concern and anything done to mitigate the source of the emergency will, out of necessity, take a back seat to the escape under way. Therefore, it is important for other persons on the shift to be prepared to take over some of the secondary duties anticipated by

OCR for page 95
110 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES the regulations. It is important to have a clear line of authority described for every mine regarding who assumes the responsible person role and the different responsible person team member roles under the various possible scenarios. Under all conditions, the responsible person and the responsible person team would benefit from team coordination and decision-making training, such as crew-resource management training or one of its derivatives (Salas et al., 2012). This kind of training addresses effective team communication, situational awareness, detection of problems, and good team leadership and followership behavior. This training first requires that the responsible person team members be clearly distinguished and their roles be crisply defined. In this way, the functions of the team and its members are distin- guishable from other incident response teams that may be involved in an emergency. In organizations that want to have a subsequent handover of responsible person responsibility to mine management or other personnel that arrive sometime later during the emergency, that transfer should be ex- plicitly described in a mine’s emergency response plan. Anyone—including higher management—that participates in tactical decision making pertinent to an escape also should undergo team coordination training. A major review of research on team training (Cannon-Bowers and Bowers, 2011), which has primarily occurred in the military and aviation, identifies several things of particular interest to mine escape teams and responsible person teams. One is that teams under time pressure rely on existing, shared knowledge or shared mental models of the situation and of each other. Thus, training to build shared team knowledge of what to do under different escape conditions and circumstances would be benefi- cial for both in-mine and above-ground teams. Among the many aspects of team training reviewed, scenario-based training and team coordination and adaptation training appear to be particularly suited to both miner and responsible person team preparation for escape. Since there is little history of formal responsible person team training in the mining industry, team coordination and adaptation training could build on the considerable knowledge of current responsible persons. Re- sponsible person teams would also need refresher training to keep their shared knowledge current, as well as the understanding of everyone’s roles and role boundaries during self-escape and, if applicable, rescue. Cannon-Bowers and Bowers (2011) also point out that there is signifi- cant evidence from learning research to support scenario-based training. They provide specific guidelines for team training and for the transfer of team training to the work setting. Basic team coordination training is a tool that also should be consid- ered for miner escape groups and responsible person teams. As discussed above, with improved escape conditions, opportunities for miners to com-

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 111 municate increase. Although Type 1 circumstances require a group to rely heavily on the knowledge of the leader, Type 2 and Type 3 circumstances permit more knowledge to be shared through improved vision and within- group communication. Type 3 circumstances are well suited for training in leadership and followership skills, maximizing the exchange of wayfinding and status information, and promoting effective courses of action. Also under Type 3 circumstances, the responsible person, delegates, and the com- munication center have an opportunity to work as a team. There is a natu- ral opportunity here to improve their coordination and effectiveness, as well as their communication with miner escape teams, through team training. TRAINING TOOLS There are a large number of training tools, methods, and strategies available and described in the research on training that are suited for individual miners and responsible person teams (e.g., Gagne et al., 1988; Noe, 2010). These include, but are not limited to, classroom lectures, rote physical drills, mentoring, modeling, part-task trainers, full-task train- ers, team and crew-resource management training, integrated simulations, computer-based training, virtual reality, environmental simulators, remote online training, and in-mine simulations. A training designer should select the tools that are most appropriate to achieve the training objectives and to maximize transfer of learning back to the task. Any method by itself will not fully address a training task rather a combination of tools and methods, combined with specific content, will form the best training strategy (Cannon-Bowers and Bowers, 2011). When the goal of training is effective performance under life-threatening condi- tions, the training designer should select the tools that lead to rapid detec- tion of trouble, automatic actions, effective use of available information, and good decision making. The various training tools should be mixed, modified, and arranged to form a sequence of training experiences that leads to effective in-mine escape capability. The sequential arrangement of these experiences constitutes the escape training flow or program. Currently, classroom lectures are widely used in the corporate training environment and in annual SCSR refresher training for miners. This tool is suitable for the presentation of overview information, general concepts, background, and historical and technical information, as well as for intro- ductory familiarization to hardware and procedures. However, this type of training does not yield learning that lasts particularly long by itself, and it does not transfer well to a life-and-death escape situation. As a tool to introduce the SCSR and familiarize miners with its parts, procedures, and function, classroom training is potentially useful; however, by itself it does not adequately prepare a miner to be able to use the SCSR under actual

OCR for page 95
112 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES escape conditions. Therefore, classroom training needs to be used in combi- nation with other training tools in order to ensure proficiency under actual escape conditions. Escape performance in a real mine emergency will be improved to the extent that miners and the responsible person teams have been trained under realistic conditions and scenarios. This is the “train as you fight” maxim that is supported by training research and practiced by a number of high-risk, high-stakes industries, such as the military and the space industry. Hands-on, experiential training in a simulator brings workers close to the actual experience they must master and is essential training for threat-to- life situations. The psychological fidelity of the training experience in this approach is also higher than in classroom training as environmental condi- tions, scenarios, difficulties, time pressure, and other aspects are similar to the actual escape. Workers not only learn to perform necessary tasks under pressure but are also able to practice managing their emotions. The use of high-fidelity simulators are likely to be useful in training for the types of emergencies faced by individual miners and teams. Simula- tors could be mounted on trucks and periodically taken to mining sites for initial training and follow-up practice, so that each locale need not develop and program its own equipment. An example of this is a mobile fire escape simulator used extensively by West Virginia University in SCSR expectation training at mine sites (Bealko et al., 2009). Note, however, that when train- ing is done in high-fidelity simulators, emergency conditions that produce high levels of stress may interfere with learned responses. The use of work aids that miners could carry with them as a quick reference to decision rules and strategies could be useful in training and subsequently in emergencies as reminders of what to do. The U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and offshore oil drilling companies conduct training in simulators for pilot and passenger escape from helicopters and jets that have to ditch at sea. A helicopter that goes down in the sea will often roll over and submerge before anyone can get out, and such an accident can occur during day or night. To train for these escape situations, trainees are strapped into a “dunker,” which is usually a helicopter body complete with crew compartment, passenger compartment, doors, and windows. The dunker is then dropped into water, fills up and rolls over, and the trainees must extract themselves while upside down and submerged. Trainees first do this with their eyes open; they then do it with no vision while wearing blackened swim goggles. A high level of motivation is provided by the lack of oxygen, and the trainees have to demonstrate that they are able to escape unaided in order to be certified as competent in this skill. For miners, even the current classroom SCSR training could be im- proved if the trainees were required to open, activate, don, and transfer

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 113 SCSRs repeatedly under eyes-open and then no-vision conditions. Rote learning of SCSR use under the no-vision condition leads to confidence and automatic behavior during an actual fire or other emergency, freeing a miner to be assessing his situation, the threat, his fellow miners, and what action should be taken next. This kind of augmented classroom experience would be considered a “part-task trainer” because the training focuses solely on SCSR skills, which are only one part of the integrated skill set that must be mastered to self-escape. In psychology and related motor-learning fields, there has been exten- sive research on understanding optimal practice conditions for the long- term retention of information. For instance, repeatedly practicing the same skill (massed practice) leads to less successful long-term retention than interspersing it with other skill practice or even separating that practice by time (distributed practice) (Proctor and Dutta, 1995; Schmidt and Lee, 2011). Massed practice (otherwise known as cramming) may give a miner the illusion, for example, of effectively donning an SCSR, when this is not the case. In more distributed situations, when the miner first practices don- ning, takes a break, and comes back and practices donning again, not only will the miner have a better understanding of what was remembered and what was not, but he/she will likely retain what was practiced for a longer period of time. Practicing in one extended session without any breaks is also likely to lead to boredom, compared with distributing practice over time (Jarvis, 2006). This is important given concerns the committee has heard about some miners being complacent and reporting that training is uninteresting. Fostering more engagement and interest by trainees through distributed practice may not only enhance learning but also increase motivation dur- ing training. There is a common belief that the more realistic training is the more effective it will be. It is certainly true that matching the conditions under which individuals are trained with those in which they will have to dem- onstrate their skills is beneficial for performance (for a general review, see Galotti, 2008). It may also be the case that technology-infused training that capitalizes on miners’ (especially young miners’) experience and positive attitudes toward video games or virtual reality can enhance engagement. However, as these technologies emerge, they need to be fully validated and tested demonstrating their appropriateness for use as a training tool. Furthermore, technology alone is not sufficient to ensure learning. It is still critical that the construction of training—from what specifically is trained to how it is trained (e.g., practice schedules)—is guided by the research on training and decision science. This is true regardless of the form of the training. There are a number of ways to define and evaluate whether training

OCR for page 95
114 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES has been effective and the relative advantages and disadvantages of different methods (see, especially, Cook and Campbell, 1979; Brown and Sitzmann, 2011). Evaluators can determine which methods are appropriate for the portions of the overall escape task that are being trained. However, Brown and Sitzman (2011) note that the pre-experimental designs, such as the post-test only and the pre- and post-test, are quite suitable for situations in which the main concern is whether or not the students have reached a particular level of competency on some task. TRAINING IN OTHER INDUSTRIES As mentioned above, industries outside of coal mining train and pre- pare individuals and teams to escape a confined work environment under dire circumstances. These industries include the military, firefighting, rescue, and space exploration. For our purposes, instances in which the physical environment, conditions and constraints on escape are similar to coal min- ing are termed here escape analogues. The jobs, work demands, personnel demographics, and other factors may differ substantially from those found in coal mining. However, key aspects are similar enough to provide ideas for improving training in the mining industry. They include the escape en- vironment (e.g., highly confined work areas), emergency conditions (e.g., smoke in passageways), evacuation constraints (e.g., obstacles in passage- ways and restricted communication opportunities), escape equipment (e.g., respirators), personnel work units (e.g., teams), and requirements for suc- cessful escape (e.g., effective decision making and teamwork). Recognizing this, NIOSH conducted a literature review of other industries and found 18 articles from a number of analogues that appeared to be pertinent to mine escape (Harrald et al., 2008). These articles were identified for the mining community to use. A common theme that emerged was the need for more attention to organizational and behavioral issues. All space-faring nations train their flight personnel to escape their ve- hicles under conditions of fire at different points in the launch, flight, and landing phases. For the flight phase, training focuses on first containing the fire. Training also includes escape to a waiting Soyuz capsule, in the event that containment should fail. In the case of a space station, such an escape would require people donning protective gear, moving through a number of modules to fight the fire, communicating with one another, and working systematically as a team. Astronauts in training for missions aboard the International Space Sta- tion train for fire containment. European, Japanese, Canadian, Russian, and U.S. astronauts go through a comprehensive and systematic training procedure that entails five major phases:

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 115 1. classroom briefings that present the ”big picture” of fire survival aboard the station, such as fire prevention, containment, and on- board resources; 2. a second round of classroom-based familiarization that focuses on firefighting procedures, why those procedures are written as they are, handling the hardware to be used, and donning and doffing breathing masks; 3. a walk-through of the procedures with an instructor inside a space station simulator, providing more familiarization with the equip- ment, gas sensor displays and where equipment is located; followed by a walk through with several different instructor-led scenarios in order to understand how to respond to a variety of circumstances that are most likely to arise; 4. trainees’ going through various scenarios in the station simula- tor in small teams; the instructor is observing and invokes “green cards” on trainees at various times with unexpected constraints or problems; and 5. multiple repetitions of the Phase 4 training with multiple un- expected scenarios to demonstrate mastery of the all the skills covered. Separate similar training flows are followed for other emergency condi- tions, such as station depressurization and the release of toxins in the sta- tion atmosphere. In all cases, the flow is sequenced to begin with classroom procedure familiarization, move through hardware familiarization, advance into guided practice in the simulator, progress to independent practice with different scenarios, and conclude with a test of skills mastery. Demonstra- tion of skills mastery is required before an astronaut is allowed to fly. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION Training is a necessary step in preparing individuals and groups to use available resources appropriately. Regulations relevant to training for self-escape appear to emphasize training duration and frequency rather than training to mastery. A detailed systematic task analysis would identify KSAOs critical to a successful self-escape. These KSAOs will provide a gen- eral blueprint for self-escape training programs and essential competencies. Subsequent verification of training effectiveness would best be accom- plished by NIOSH validating the entire training package so that operators do not have to do that. Those miners and responsible person team members who are trained to mastery could have a reflective symbol placed on their helmets so that in the event of an emergency other less trained individuals can immediately recognize those in their work groups with expertise at

OCR for page 95
116 IMPROVING SELF-ESCAPE FROM UNDERGROUND COAL MINES escaping and managing an escape. Refresher training should occur peri- odically according to NIOSH findings on training decay for the various elements. Individuals who retain their mastery should retain the helmet symbol. Despite training developments by NIOSH, MSHA, and some universi- ties and mine operators, the quality and quantity of escape training still falls far behind what is necessary to ensure that all mine personnel can ef- fectively escape a mine emergency. This conclusion applies to almost every aspect of escape behavior training, from donning, doffing, and exchanging SCSRs under Type 1 conditions to miners’ working effectively as a respon- sible person team. As detailed above, effective training and transfer of what is learned in training to an actual emergency situation requires a supportive work cli- mate. With only a few exceptions, most escape training programs in the in- dustry are poorly designed, and many seem to be oriented primarily toward minimal compliance with federal and state training regulations. In training, miners seldom have to demonstrate mastery of a skill but only have to be in attendance. To ensure that miners can function effectively in an emergency, a train-to-mastery system with competency standards is needed, not time in class. Research will determine the minimum KSAO levels required to escape successfully under simulated crisis conditions and at various levels of reli- ability. The definition of mastery varies by what level of performance and reliability is acceptable: and increasing levels come with higher price tags of training time and general cost. The committee envisions that after step A. in Recommendation 7 below is completed, and the KSAOs are identified for self-escape, then a consensus group of stakeholders will meet to determine what level of performance is acceptable and define competency standards for those KSAOs. This meeting would include representatives from NIOSH, mine operators, and miner organizations. The number of training facilities capable of preparing miners and re- sponsible person teams in escape appear to be insufficient, especially those with the capability of simulating mine fire and other emergency conditions and providing integrated training between miners and responsible person teams. Programs for preparing and certifying self-escape trainers also are few and of variable quality. For mines that cannot afford to send their miners long distances to available training facilities, there may be demand for portable training sim- ulators to give miners the experience of donning an SCSR and wayfinding in a smoke-filled environment. Similarly, if multiple high-fidelity simulators are needed, mounting them on trucks may be a cost-effective way to make them available to all mines. Training center personnel can also facilitate small mine scenario exercises by helping design problems and supporting inexperienced management teams throughout the process. They can also

OCR for page 95
TRAINING 117 provide important feedback to mines on their performance in the effort. This information can be stripped of mine identification information and then sent to NIOSH for inclusion into a self-escape database (suggested in Recommendation 1, see Chapter 2). The West Virginia University facility, visited by the committee, is not currently designed to provide Type 3 or responsible person team training. However, it would be possible for this facility or others to be expanded to cover integrated Type 3 and responsible person team training with the addition of more tunnel complexity and with verbal team problem- solving scenarios for an escape group and the external responsible person team. Alternatively such integrated Type 3 training could be conducted in facilities suitable just for that purpose. Following classroom, part-task, integrated, and environmental simulation training, regular integrated simu- lations should be conducted at mine site, using the mine and its resources. RECOMMENDATION 7: To advance self-escape training: A.  he National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health T (NIOSH) should conduct or sponsor a formal task analysis and an analysis of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other personal attributes (KSAOs) required for miners to self-escape effectively in coordination with the efforts of the responsible person, the com- munication center and mine management. B.  the basis of these analyses and working with interested stake- On holders, NIOSH should undertake the research required to identify the training modalities, techniques, and protocols best suited for those KSAOs as well as the interactions between miners, respon- sible persons, the communication center, and mine management. Thereafter, NIOSH should review current training and identify existing gaps within the mining industry. C.  the basis of the research and review in step B. above, and using On best practices within the training field, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and NIOSH should revise or develop training flows that bring miners, responsible persons, communica- tion centers, and mine management to mastery in those KSAOs, including interactions between those three groups. D. NIOSH should conduct research to verify the effectiveness of train- ing developed in step C. above and miners’ retention of informa- tion learned under simulated emergency conditions. E.  its current review of facilities supporting mine rescue training, In MSHA should also evaluate whether these facilities could support self-escape simulation and scenario training.

OCR for page 95