Saturday, 16 January 2016

New Research Project Aims to Reduce Risk-Taking Among Australian Coal Miners

A multidisciplinary research group has recently been awarded a major research grant to investigate the psychological causes of risk-taking among Australian coal miners. The research project will survey around 1,000 coal miners in both underground and open-cut coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland. The research has two main aims: (1) to identify the key factors that cause dangerous risk-taking in Australian coal mines, and (2) to design and test a practical intervention to reduce this risk-taking.

The three-year research project is funded by a grant of over $300,000 from the Australian Coal Association’s Research Program, and it follows close consultation with key stakeholders in the industry.

The multidiscliplinary research team is based at the University of Newcastle, and includes Dr Mark Rubin from the School of Psychology, Dr Anna Giacomini from the School of Engineering, and Prof Brian Kelly from the School of Medicine and Public Health. The researchers work together within the Centre for Resources Health and Safety, which is part of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources.

Dr Rubin explained that “the originality and novelty of the proposed research project is that it will be the first to undertake a focussed investigation of the psychological causes of dangerous risk-taking behaviour in the Australian coal mining industry.

For further information about the project, please contact Dr Rubin at