Cement Americas

WIN 2019

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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www.cementamericas.com • Winter 2019 • CEMENT AMERICAS 29 FEATURE the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) esti- mates 1 percent of the world's labor force is engaged in min- ing. Yet mining accounts for 5 percent of on-the-job fatalities. These fatalities can be caused by rock falls, tunnel collapses, fires, heat exhaustion as long with many other dangers. The historical list of long-term illnesses, injuries and disabilities associated with mining is also significant. At the corporate level, the determination to succeed is linked to profits. In the past, mining corporations have been accused of circumventing safety systems, portray- ing the belief that they were not profitable. This guarded approach to doing business, coupled with unfortunate impacts on workforce and the environment led to govern- ments creating legislative bodies to enforce accountability through legally binding rules, under which mining compa- nies must operate. Thankfully, modern leaders understand that it is essen- tial to nurture a mentality within the company that values social and environmental impacts – particularly the health and wellbeing of its employees. I recently read a case study about Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Mary- land. They are in fact a global security company, employing 146,000 people internationally, but this company adopted a commitment to health and safety practice that can be just as useful and profitable within mining, or any other industry. Over a five-year period (2003-2008), Lockheed Martin reduced the number of employees who missed work due to an injury from 530 employees to 280. Absences dropped from more than 20,000 days missed to 7,820 days; a huge 56 percent reduction. In that same time period, the compa- ny share price rocketed from c. $46 in July 2003 to c. $110 in July 2008. In short, if management shows health, safety and the envi- ronment to be important to the business livelihood, work- ers will see its importance and react accordingly, and in turn shareholders and neighbors will take notice. In mining, this is often referred to as Community and Social Responsibility (CSR), or the "License to Operate." So, good management leads safe practices from the top down. But how do we ensure that the workforce follows us along our journey to a truly "zero harm" mining industry? How do we make sure our workers report near misses in the workplace to the benefit of their team, without fear of repercussion? Ultimately, how do we help empower them to take safety so seriously that they instinctively adhere to speed limits on the way home? In the same way that the legislative bodies create health and safety in law, corporations need to set safety objec- tives in daily tasks to show what is and isn't acceptable. This leads directly to mine standards. Mine standards are the link between the mining regulations and the daily tasks of the workforce that are explained in standard operating procedures. Global Mine Design gets involved with mine standards in three very important ways. 1. As auditors, the company helps mines review their current ground control management and mine design standards to determine if they are up to date and effective in the workforce; if standards need improv- ing, Global Mine Design helps the site adopt Change management procedures to track important changes in protocol. 2. As technical and subject matter experts, the company helps mines understand the critical and influential ground conditions and material properties that influ- ence the rockmass response to mining; understanding how the mine may respond to the extraction plan allows the risks and benefits associated with different options to be considered before committing. 3. As members of Technical Advisory Committees in var- ious mining jurisdictions around the world, staff help share best practice; technical groups and committees are critical to feed ideas and information amongst peers – communication of good and bad experiences helps raise the overall standard of mine safety stan- dards. Marrying best practice and mine standards can deliver standard operating procedures (SOP) that ultimately led us toward a zero-harm operation. But the process still requires diligence and commitment. When Global Mine Design audits mine sites, it often observes differences between written site procedures and the tasks carried out by the working group. A typical defensive response by site workers is: "We can't do it like that, we have our own way." Invariably, my con- cern in these instances is not with the workers because they usually have found a perfectly safe and effective means to carry out their task; it is with the management team who do not effectively review their own practices. Listening to those carrying out the tasks is one of the best ways to devel- op rock-solid, safe procedures that are referred to time and time again. It is not good enough to "do as I say not as I do."

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