Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

E. Scott Dunlap

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management


This research compares how the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prevent the occurrence of and respond to incidents of workplace explosions in their industries. This was a qualitative study that utilized interpretivism as the theoretical framework. The study sought to answer four research questions. (1) What are the explosive hazards present in the coal mining and sugar refining environments? (2) What explosion prevention methodologies are available? (3) What MSHA regulations apply to coal mine explosions and what OSHA regulations apply to refinery explosions? (4) Are there differences in the way that the agencies enforce regulations when faced with a similar catastrophic event?