Maggie Ryan, NIOSH Mining, Pittsburgh, and Jason Diamond, training coordinator, CONSOL Energy

In its 2013 report, “Improving Self-Escape from Underground Coal Mines,” the National Academy of Sciences urged that mines should adopt a train-to-mastery system with competency standards instead of focusing on fulfilling time-based training requirements. Competency-based self-escape training and assessment focuses on outcomes, such as the mastery of critical self-escape knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), placing the emphasis on task performance and individual proficiency instead of training duration. NIOSH’s Self-Escape Study identifies the critical self-escape KSAs that all miners must have and the development of a set of competency profiles for self-escape, including task performance criteria for four different employee roles (e.g., escape group leader, responsible person, face crew and outby workers). Mines can utilize these materials to aid in the development of standardized, competency-based self-escape training and assessment. This presentation will review the research efforts and findings of the NIOSH Self-Escape Study and detail a case study of how one mine has utilized the identified critical self-escape KSAs to develop and implement competency-based training and assessment procedures at their mine, providing an example for how all mines can do the same.

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