On August 5, 2010, 33 miners were left trapped 700 metres below the ground in the Atacama Desert in
. The workers survived underground for an unprecedented 69 days and on October 13, miraculously, all 33 were rescued and brought to the surface. The health of the owner of the mine, San Esteban Mining Company, is less certain, however. Chile
According to the Chilean Safety Association, eight workers have perished in the mine over a 12 year period and between 2004 and 2010 the company has been slapped with no less than 42 fines for breaching safety regulations.
The parallels between the forestry and mining sectors are numerous. In 2009,
While the economic retrenchment has favoured the mining industry more favourably than the forestry sector, production has remained slow across commodities, and high-cost operations have shut down as a direct response to high costs (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010). No one familiar with
According to the BC Forest Safety Council, BC’s forest industry is considered one of the most hazardous sectors in the province. This is attributable to a number of factors including an aging workforce, the necessity of shift work and irregular hours, and fitness problems resulting from the repetitive operation of machinery.
Despite the challenging operating environment, however, health and safety statistics are improving significantly. According to the Forestry Safety Association of Newfoundland, in 2004, the province’s forestry sector experienced a total of 93 lost-time injuries. By 2008, this figure had dropped to 31 lost-time injuries. Similarly, in 2004
Statistics are similar in other Canadian provinces as forestry safety associations strive to communicate the importance of continued emphasis and investment in the occupational health of employees. Despite that the
As we make our way through 2011, and as