Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches for Evaluation of Safety Risks in Coal Mines

Ala , Charan Kumar (2019) Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches for Evaluation of Safety Risks in Coal Mines. PhD thesis.

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The safety in underground coal mines continues to be a major problem in the Indian mining industry. Despite significant measures taken by the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) to reduce the number of mining accidents in underground coal mines, the number remains high. To improve the safety conditions, it has become a prerequisite to performing risk assessment for various operations in Indian mines. It is noted that many research studies conducted in the past are limited to either statistical analysis of accidents or study of single equipment or operation using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Limited work has been done to identify, analyse, and evaluate the safety risks of a complete underground coal mine in India.

The present study attempts to determine the appropriate qualitative and quantitative risk assessment approaches for the evaluation of safety risks in Indian underground coal mines. This thesis addresses several important objectives as (i) to identify the type of safety risk analysis techniques suitable for evaluating various mining scenarios (ii) to identify and analyse the hazard factors and hazardous events that affects the safety in underground coal using the qualitative and quantitative approaches (iii) to evaluate the risk level (RL) of the hazardous factors/groups, hazardous events, and the overall mine using the proposed methodology.

In this research work, the qualitative techniques, i.e. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Workplace Risk Assessment and Control (WRAC), and the quantitative techniques, i.e. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) and Event Tree Analysis (ETA) were applied in an underground coal mine to identify and analyse the hazard factors and hazard events. The analysis of FMEA and WRAC results concluded that the qualitative risk assessment is easy to execute and practical as they are not dependent on the historical data; rather they need experience and close examination. On the other hand, they may yield subjective results due to instinctive human assessment. The analysis of the FTA and ETA results concluded that the quantitative risk assessment could not be performed in Indian underground coal mines due to lack of probability, exposure, and consequence data.

To overcome the mentioned problems in qualitative and quantitative techniques, a methodology was proposed for evaluation of the safety risks of hazard events, hazard groups, and overall mine. The proposed methodology is the unification of fuzzy logic, VIKOR (In Serbia: VIseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje, that means: Multi-criteria Optimization and Compromise Solution), and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) techniques. Because of the imprecise nature of the information available in the mining industry, fuzzy logic was employed to evaluate the risk of each hazardous event in terms of consequence, exposure, and probability. VIKOR as was used to rank the evaluated risk of hazardous events. AHP technique helps to determine the relative importance of the risk factors. Therefore, AHP technique was integrated into the risk model so that the risk evaluation can progress from hazardous event level to hazard factor level and finally to overall mine level. To reduce the calculation time significantly and to increase the speed of the proposed risk assessment process, a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (TRAM) was developed using the C# language through Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 and .Net libraries.

The proposed methodology developed in this thesis was applied to six underground coal mines. The results presented the risk level of hazard events, hazards groups and overall mine of six mines. The mine-5 has the highest risk level among the evaluated mines. The ranking order of the mines observed based on the overall risk level is mine-5> mine-1 > mine-2 > mine-3 > mine-6 > mine-4. The results of the proposed methodology were compared with DGMS proposed rapid ranking method. This is observed that the proposed methodology presents better evaluation than other approaches. This study could help the mine management to prepare safety measures based on the risk rankings obtained. It may also aid to evaluate accurate risk levels with identified hazards while preparing risk management plans.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Safety risk assessment; Coal mine; FMEA; WRAC, FTA; ETA; Fuzzy logic; AHP; VIKOR; Graphical User Interface
Subjects:Engineering and Technology > Mining Engineering > Safety in Mining
Engineering and Technology > Mining Engineering
Divisions: Engineering and Technology > Department of Mining Engineering
ID Code:10055
Deposited By:IR Staff BPCL
Deposited On:28 Aug 2019 14:59
Last Modified:05 May 2022 12:00
Supervisor(s):Tripathy, Debi Prasad

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