This paper from the Pittsburgh Research Center of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health examines the human stress response during emergency evacuation from the underground mining work environment. The paper was published for presentation at the International Emergency Management Society Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, January, 1997. From the "Discussion" section: "In an emergency situation such as escape under apparatus in smoke from an underground mine, the stress response is a normal reaction. Placing miners in a realistic simulation as was done by design in this study, created a stressful situation for these subjects. Their responses to this situation presented an opportunity to compare individuals having previous experience or training in smoke with those who had no previous experience or training. The study also allowed for a comparison of reactions to stress based upon previous experience or training. The general finding that miners who had more experience or training also tended to report less stress during the exercise suggests the value of realistic instruction. Thus, the following recommendations are offered:  Develop emergency escape simulation training as part of Annual Refresher Training in the U.S.  In the training, include information about the human stress response for all mine workers and, especially, for mine rescue teams. Additionally, foster an environment in which this type of training can occur. It is suggested that, in planning procedures for dealing with mine emergencies, mining companies develop relationships and arrange for collaboration among mine management, community health (including mental health), and local emergency personnel." Details may be found on the cover page, located at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/works/coversheet1226.html.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) Conference 1997, Copenhagen, Denmark: January, 1997; excerpt pages 55-62