Health & Safety Division

There is nothing more important than Safety

Here's why you need to be a part of the SME Health & Safety Division

The SME Health and Safety Division was developed to focus on the most basic, and most important aspect of the mining industry – the health and safety of its stakeholders. Whether it is the miner working at the face or the community member who lives near a mining operation, safety must be the number one concern of every employee, every manger, every supervisor, of EVERYONE.

SME’s Health and Safety Division will promote improvements in mining safety and health through increased miner safety-competencies and leadership by building synergies, establishing partnerships and expanding SME membership.

Building from a strong start, the Health & Safety Division looks forward to continued collaboration and outreach with stakeholders to save lives, improve health, and increase the well-being of all who engage in mining.

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The SME Health & Safety Division | SME Divisions

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Eric A. Lutz, PhD CMSP
Director, Spokane Mining Research Division
Office of Mine Safety and Health Research
NIOSH

Two Free White Papers

The Great Swindles, Scams and Myths in Safety by Corrie Pitzer

Safety 7.0 – 7 Golden Rules to Vision Zero by Helmut Ehnes

The Great Swindles, Scams and Myths in Safety

Safety performance in many companies and even industries has stalled in the last decade. Accidents rates are at a “plateau” and yet, serious accidents and fatality rates are not. In more dramatic cases, such as in the BP Texas Refinery disaster, organizations that have “exemplary” safety statistics, suddenly have a catastrophic or multi-fatality event occurring. Classic examples are the Piper Alpha disaster and NASA’s Challenger and Columbia disasters, the BP’s Deepwater Horizon Rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Looking into the causes of these accidents provides an insight into the events and deficiencies that led up to the accident, but what are the common features in the organization’s mindset, or its culture? What characterizes these organizations’ decision-making, their approach to safety and to risk and are there features that can be delineated? The research and review presented in this paper covers a period since 1995, which started in the Australian resource industry and since then covered international events. The features of these organizations are summarized as the seven deadly delusions of near zero organizations (NZO) that suffered unexpected disasters, based on extensive research by the author. More recently, the massive West Fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, and the Train Disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada underlined the same trends. Organizations may experience calamities not because they are bad, or unsafe, but because they have become “cult-like”.

Safety 7.0 – 7 Golden Rules to Vision Zero

“Industry 4.0” – “Mining 4.0” - perhaps you have already heard of these terms? These keywords signify the next stage of industrial production. The internet and production technologies are growing closer together. Machines can communicate with one another, wherever they may happen to be located. The “Internet of Things” is the appropriate term. But what does SAFETY 7.0 mean? It is both brand new and traditional at the same time. It also has to do with the success of companies, with efficient production. And yet there is a great deal more at stake. It has to do with our lives and our safety – the supreme commodity in this world. What exactly SAFETY 7.0 means, what the number 0 stands for and the meaning of the number 7, and what this all has to do with mining will be explained in the following article.

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