Worker safety is highest priority for miners: report

22 January 2013 (Last Updated January 22nd, 2013 18:30)

Major mining companies across the globe consider work safety as their highest priority, according to a new survey conducted by ABB company, Ventyx.

Mine safety

Major mining companies across the globe consider work safety as their highest priority, according to a new survey conducted by ABB company Ventyx.

Ventyx has released results of its third-annual Mining Executive Insights Survey, which reveals the changing priorities and challenges of large mining organisations.

The survey consolidated the views of 374 mining companies in diversified markets around the world, demonstrating worker safety (31%) and managing capital projects (25%) as the highest priorities of mining executives.

Maximising production effectiveness (21%) follows closely behind, while equipment efficiency (8%) takes the fourth spot in the current list of priorities.

According to the study, mining executives closely correlate worker safety and mine productivity, with the majority of the respondents identifying 'development of skills, best work practices and situation-based decision making' as their primary safety initiatives.

Ventyx mining industry solutions senior vice president Bas Mutsaers said that mining companies had begun looking inward to secure appropriate labour as they remain cautious about global economic recovery.

"In doing so, they have shifted their focus from finding qualified workers anywhere, at any cost, to ensuring the workforce they currently have is efficient, well-informed and safe," said Mutsaers.

Mutsaers continued by observing that companies are finding novel approaches to training and skill development by equipping workforces with new technologies like mobility solutions that allow quick access to information.

"There is definitely an opportunity for mining organisations to leverage emerging technologies to transform how they educate and empower their workers to reduce safety incidents and improve efficiencies.

"By delivering on-demand information to the point of work, for example, new mobility solutions can reduce the need to train workers for every possible situation while equipping them to make better on-the-spot decisions," concluded Mutsaers.


Image: Many mining companies are making the safety of staff their top priority. Image courtesy of Honeywell Life Care Systems.