During my PhD, I evaluated how incident investigations are conducted in the Ghanaian mining industry by capturing the views of practitioner investigators and other stakeholders to identify ways in which incidents investigations in the field can be improved. By applying a mixed method approach implemented through emergent research design, I was able to identify several incident investigations bottlenecks and the factors currently inhibiting effective learning from incidents from occurring. By applying rigorously and scientifically innovative techniques, I was able to identify why current theoretical advances in incident investigations does not translate to actual practice and proposed a number of incident investigation redesigned initiatives that could ensure effective information transfer in a way that promote effective learning from incidents.

One of the major contributions of my PhD was an innovated incident investigation maturity framework that organisations can use to assess the current status of their incident investigations and identify ways to improve. This maturity framework has been received by industry and some mines sites in Ghana are exploring its usefulness. Recently, I have had the opportunity to present my PhD research to several mines in Ghana and the industry’s peak body, and I am working closely with some of these mines to improve how they learn from incidents, and overall improve their safety performance.


After completing his Bachelor and Masters degree in Geomatic Engineering and Environmental Science, Eric worked briefly in some mines in Ghana, before joining the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana as an Assistant Lecturer in 2014. Eric obtained his PhD in Occupational Health and Safety from the University of Queensland, where he was awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious scholarships (IPRS now RTP and UQCENT) for research higher degree. 

Eric now works as a Lecturer with the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana, where he delivers environmental management, risk management and human factors training and education to undergraduate and postgraduate students and directly industry. Additionally, Eric supervises a number of Masters and PhD students undertaking industry-based research with environmental sustainability and operational risk focus. Eric also work closely with a number of safety critical industries such as mining and oil and gas to provide human-centred risk management solutions that improve operational performance. With an extensive knowledge-base and broad skill set, Eric has forged a successful career including mining, risk management, human factors, environmental sustainability and more broadly in occupational health and safety management.

Key Publications

Kumi-Baoteng, B. and Stemn, E., (2020), "Spatial Analysis of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana", Ghana Mining Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 66-74.

Stemn, E., Hassall, M. E. and Bofinger, C., (2020a), "Planning and Implementing Remedial Measures from Incident Investigations: A Study of the Ghanaian Mining Industry", Safety Science, Vol. 127, p. 104735.

Stemn, E., Hassall, M. E. and Bofinger, C., (2020b), "Systemic Constraints to Effective Learning from Incidents in the Ghanaian Mining Industry: A Correspondence Analysis and Accimap Approach", Safety Science, Vol. 123, No. 2020, p. 104565.

Stemn, E. and Kumi-Boateng, B., (2020), "Modelling of Land Surface Temperature Changes as Determinant of Urban Heat Island and Risk of Heat-Related Conditions in the Wassa West Mining Area of Ghana", Modeling Earth Systems and Environment, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 1727-1740.

Stemn, E., Ntsiful, F., Azadah, M. A. and Joe-Asare, T., (2020), "Incident Causal Factors and the Reasons for Conducting Investigations: A Study of Five Ghanaian Large-Scale Mines", Safety, Vol. 6, No. 1, p. 9.