I have just downloaded and browsed through the ICMM Health and Safety Conference Report. I am impressed by the report and like the format: basically prepare a report on the conference after the conference. This provides an opportunity to collate ideas, themes, and opportunities to improve. It makes it possible to keep abreast without having to plough through detailed, too-often badly written papers. And it makes it possible to let important people speak and make presentations without preparing a paper without the rest of us loosing the opportunity to learn from them. I applaud this practice and encourage others to do the same.
Here is a copy of their summary of the summaries—just to give you a taste of the new approaches that are emerging in mine health and safety.
This theme of “people first” is cross-cutting and features prominently in the four other major themes. It is integrated in the body of the report into the discussions of the other themes.
One common goal: prevent fatalities. Top of mind (sic) is preventing fatalities: industry has worked hard to reduce injury levels; however, fatalities stubbornly continue to occur.
Human life is more important than production The industry has tended to focus on systems, processes, procedures and technology. However, health and safety are first and foremost about the well-being of people: it is about building relationships with everyone at every level; it is about building trust; it is about enacting the belief that human life and well-being are more important than production or economic value.
Engaging with people’s emotions. Chief executives, technical people and senior vice presidents talked with passion about how important it is to access emotions in order to develop the appropriate approach to safety – how people in the industry have to make this personal before there will be success in communicating the appropriate safety culture. Engaging people is not just about talking to them, or appealing to their logic or their cognitive processes. Engaging at an emotional level promotes buy-in and participation at all levels of the operation. Most importantly, listening to people is the only true route to genuine engagement.
These ideas get echo in an upcoming conference in July, namely Health and Safety Excellence in Mining. The conference is organized by Marcus Evans and will take place in Toronto from 24 to 25 July 2013. Here is how they describe the conference:
The Health and Safety Excellence in Mining Canada Conference will empower senior-level health and safety executives to revitalize HSE and OHS programs by taking a more proactive, systemic approach to health and safety. Delegates will explore vital leadership methods, the benefits of transitioning from lagging to leading indicators and how a risk-based approach that incorporates behavioral methodologies and analytical sciences can improve workplace safety and strengthen safety culture.
Benefit from two days of case study driven discussions from industry leading experts. Attendees will be afforded the opportunity to interact with speakers and their peers in a classroom style setting that will encourage both audience participation and engagement. Seating for this conference is limited to maintain an intimate educational environment that will cultivate the knowledge and experience of all participants.
Obviously the aim and methods of ICMM and Marcus Evans differ. At the latter you may, for a fee, meet with industry leaders and seek to sell your services. A great way to market to the top decision makers if you are in the field. At the former, you are part of a process of seeking to bolster the image and practice of mining—an admirable goal if you are in the field.
If either of these “events” saves but one life, or if this blog posting promotes the saving of just one life, it is all worthwhile. Good weekend.