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Of Mine Skips and Cages: Risk Management Tips for Mining Managers

Last March 18-19, 2014, Lockton Companies Inc., the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm, hosted the 2014 North American Mining Summit to discuss the growing risk management demands of the mining industry. The gathering aimed to give attendees a broad view of the areas of risk and opportunity for risk minimization in their respective mining fields.

Risk Management Experts

“The mining and natural resources industry is constantly changing, making it imperative that those responsible for managing risks and protecting the balance sheet stay abreast of changes in the insurance marketplace,” said Ryan W. Brown of Lockton. “This important event brings together a world-class panel of experts in all facets of risk management to exchange information and share best practices.”

Breakout session topics include a cross-functional approach to risk management, environmental exposures, quantifying mining property risks, narcotics abuse, and an economic update.

The need for risk management

Risk management discussions for the mining industry, such as the North American Mining Summit, benefit operational safety by addressing specific issues and upholding a safety culture through increased engagement and dialogue. Although the specifics of risk management vary from site to site, there are some key elements that mine managers can work on.

It’s all about communication

Through discussions about safety, managers can address actual job issues and give their people personal feedback. This also motivates consistent thinking and talking about safety, which is one of the most important components of a good safety culture.

Ask and answer questions

The best way to start a risk management discussion is with questions that identify the particular tasks of an employee. Follow this up with more questions to discover people’s habits and what they’ve done with regards to hazards and safety. Answering questions—such as what hazards has the employee identified in his job, or what precautions should be taken when in proximity to equipment such as mine skips and cages—can be quite beneficial.

Focus on what you can physically observe

Behaviors, hazards, environmental conditions—these are what a manager’s risk management discussions should focus on. By taking this approach, employees will be much more willing to discuss issues and suggest improvements.

Risk management discussions are one way to ensure the latest and best tools and practices are being employed for workplace safety. For equipment needs, rely on established manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. to supply you with products such as the safest mine haulage systems, loading systems, and dump systems to meet your requirements.

(Source: Risk Management Experts Converge at Lockton Mining Summit, PR Newswire, Feb. 17. 2014)