The Effect of Hazard Clustering and Risk Perception on Hazard Recognition

  • Timothy J. OrrEmail author
  • Jennica L. Bellanca
  • Brianna M. Eiter
  • William Helfrich
  • Elaine N. Rubinstein
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 780)


Active mining operations are complex, dynamic environments that can present workers with an array of potential safety and health challenges. From missing fire extinguishers to large equipment and falling rocks, hazards exist that mineworkers must be cognizant of to keep themselves and their coworkers safe. While hazard identification is a key skill that mineworkers must possess to ensure workplace safety, the location and perceived risk of the hazards may alter this ability. To further explore these effects, NIOSH researchers conducted a study to characterize how mineworkers search for and identify hazards. Researchers asked participants to search 32 static panoramic scenes depicting typical locations at a surface stone mine—pit, plant, roadway, and shop—with each containing zero to seven hazards. Mineworkers tended to miss hazards when they were in clusters—i.e., where two or more hazards appeared within the worker’s central field of view. This paper examines the relationship of clustered hazards, perceived risk and identification accuracy and how location and experience affect it. Based on the results, strategies will be suggested that mineworkers can use to help identify hazards in their workplace.


Visual search Simulator Mineworker safety 



The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of company names or products does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature (outside the USA) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Orr
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennica L. Bellanca
    • 1
  • Brianna M. Eiter
    • 1
  • William Helfrich
    • 1
  • Elaine N. Rubinstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Pittsburgh Mining Research DivisionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPittsburghUSA

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