Keep Experienced Miners Safe

Therese Dunphy

February 21, 2014


When it comes to ensuring mine safety, much focus is placed on new miners. After all, whether new to the industry or new to the site, it’s important to educate this segment of personnel on potential hazards.

But, as 2013 metal/non-metal fatality statistics show, it’s every bit as important, and maybe more so, to keep experienced miners focused on safety. Take a look at the experience of the miners involved in 2013’s 22 metal/non-metal fatalities:

  • Less than one year of experience: 2 fatalities;

  • One to two years of experience: 2 fatalities;

  • Four to 10 years of experience: 5 fatalities;

  • 11 to 20 years of experience: 6 fatalities;

  • 21 to 30 years of experience: 4 fatalities; and

  • More than 30 years of experience: 3 fatalities.

As much as we’d prefer to believe otherwise, it’s clear that experience does not equal safe work behaviors among all miners. Familiarity can also breed complacency and over-confidence.

During your next safety meeting or tailgate session, make sure to engage all miners – regardless of experience – in ongoing safety training. Solicit best practices. Pair them up to mentor less experienced miners. Above all, make sure they understand that there is no substitute for safe workplace behaviors.

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