In this recent article found in the Canadian Mining Journal, Refinery CEO, Susan Eick wrote about the connection between workplace safety issues experienced in the mining industry and the mental health and psychological safety of the workforce. To deal with the former, you must first address the latter.
“It is no hidden fact that mining can be a dangerous industry. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) reports that Canada’s mining industry employs more than 400,000 workers in mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication and manufacturing. “Although injuries and fatalities have been on the decline, and despite a core emphasis on safety culture, there are still workers who lose their lives or are injured while performing their jobs in mining environments,” reads CCOHS’s Drilling Down on Mine Safety report, which also describes hazards as “an everyday, constant reality” in the sector.
Safety incidents can have long-lasting impacts on a company’s reputation and investment viability. This is something that Canadian mining companies can’t afford as the competition for skilled workers is fierce, causing a skills gap in the sector. Also, at the forefront of conversations amongst mining companies is the importance of ESG – environmental, social, and governance – which is a formula being widely discussed and used as the baseline for the re-evaluation of safety, ethics, and overall culture within organizations. Now is the time for mining companies to focus on psychological safety, to both improve their reputation and credibility, and to attract and retain skilled workers.”