Safety culture maturity assessment for mining activities in South America
Bascompta Massanes, Marc
Sanmiquel Pera, Lluís
Rossell i Garriga, Josep Maria
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BACKGROUND:Health and safety is a crucial issue in the mining industry due to the implication of accidents in the sector. OBJECTIVE:This study determines the safety culture characteristics in several mining activities from South America. METHODS:A survey of the safety culture maturity has been done by means of 24 questions regarding the type of activity, number of employees and safety culture characteristics of the activity: information of accidents and incidents, organizational structure to deal with information, involvement of the company in health and safety issues, the way it communicates accidents and incidents and commitment of the company towards health and safety. RESULTS:The questionnaire was completed by 62 managers from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Results show different behaviors depending on the type of company, Artisanal or Large-Scale Mines, ASM and LSM respectively. LSM show a level of maturity according to the size of the company, while ASM does not have a clear trend in terms of size, even though there is a relationship between employees and safety culture maturity. In addition, a remarkable difference can be seen between activities with and without continuous improvement systems implemented. CONCLUSIONS:Large scale mining improves their level of safety culture as the size of the company increases, because procedures and control systems are implemented. Cooperatives or small companies also achieve substantial gains when they introduce similar systems.