A cluster of mistrust

Safety in the mining industry

Neil Gunningham, Darren Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the relationship between mistrust, adversarial industrial relations and safety performance in 10 Australian coal mines, across three mining companies. Based on case study research and company safety data, the article identifies a 'cluster of characteristics' closely associated with the formation of mistrust, and examines the negative impact such characteristics can have on safety performance. The article considers the broader ramifications of these findings for non-mining sectors, in particular for companies with a corporate head office overseeing separate sites, and identifies ways of building trust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-466
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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