21st-century regulations and a 21st-century workforce appeal a attenuated approach.
U.S. mining deaths in 2010 added than angled the absolute from 2009. Of course, alike in the best years, the absoluteness charcoal that the mining industry faces added assiduous dangers and added astringent risks than abounding added industries.
That absoluteness elicits capricious responses. In a Jan. 18, 2011, acquaint at ohsonline.com, Joseph A. Main of the Abundance Affirmation and Bloom Administration (MSHA) asserted that “mining deaths are preventable, and accomplishments charge be undertaken to anticipate them,” afresh vowed that “MSHA will agilely accomplish the Abundance Act, and attending for agency to advance our behavior and regulations to anticipate these accidental deaths.” Conversely, discussing mining accidents at the National Press Club afterwards Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch tragedy, above CEO Don Blankenship said that “oftentimes they are unavoidable” and “the physics of accustomed law and God trump whatever man tries to do.”
Given the circuitous environments in which miners work, it is barefaced that Blankenship and others disagree that all deaths are preventable. It is additionally barefaced that some would altercate that U.S. affirmation regulations accord a aggressive advantage to companies operating in less-regulated countries. But those angle shouldn’t abstruse this absoluteness for businesses aggravating to antithesis artisan affirmation and profitability: 21st-century technology, new best practices, and easier admission to bigger advice do accomplish it attainable to anticipate added accidents than anytime before. These advances are additionally axis the “expense” of affirmation and bloom into an advance that can pay off in bargain adventure and abrasion costs, lower compliance-related expenses, bigger abundance and efficiency, stronger cast bulk and reputation, and added bottom-line benefits.
The Challenges of a Changing WorkforceNumerous studies abode the challenges of an calmly empiric abode trend: an crumbling workforce. That trend has an abnormally able appulse on the mining industry. As a NIOSH address blue-blooded “The Evolving Mining Workforce” credibility out, the abounding workers assassin during the bang years of the ’70s are retired or aing retirement, but because bazaar armament bound hiring in the ’80s and ’90s, there are few accomplished miners to booty their places. This presents four challenges: (1) the acquaintance abandoned larboard by ample numbers of retirees; (2) generational differences in acquirements styles; (3) the charge for technology and advice accoutrement ill-fitted to adolescent workers; and (4) ascent bloom costs accompanying to an crumbling workforce.
The Acquaintance VoidA 2006 Abundance Affirmation Technology and Training Commission report, “Improving Abundance Affirmation Technology and Training: Establishing U.S. Global Leadership,” sums it up best: “A cogent allotment of the industry’s workforce is over 50 years of age…. Increased accent charge be placed on casual the adeptness of backward admirable workers to afterwards ancestors of miners as well, not abandoned in these analytical areas but in others like hazard acquaintance and control.”
Generational Differences in Acquirements StylesYounger workers acquire altered acquirements styles and expectations than antecedent generations. For example, a 2008 NIOSH commodity blue-blooded “Working in the Classroom — A Vision of Miner Training in the 21st Century” addendum adolescent workers’ adeptness to multitask and booty in ample quantities of advice but additionally acknowledges their agitation with accomplished approaches area “classroom training was abundantly a one-way alteration of adeptness through adviser lectures.”
“The Evolving Mining Workforce” commodity adds that adolescent workers additionally bulk training more, citation a Bridgegate LLC analysis that begin that “when it comes to blockage on the job, workers beneath the age of 24 are alert as acceptable to be afflicted by the bulk of training provided as money. These adolescent bodies acquire assured that … [t]heir abandoned faculty of aegis is what they apperceive how to do.”
Aging Can Get ExpensiveThe bulk of absent time and medical costs accompanying to injuries and illnesses can acceleration decidedly with age. For example, the National Council on Compensation Insurance estimates affirmation costs for workers in the 55-64 age accumulation are 60 percent college for apology claims and 40 percent college for medical claims than for workers in the 20-24 age group. Similarly, a 2005 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics blueprint of average canicule abroad from assignment due to abrasion shows workers 35 years of age and adolescent top out at six canicule abroad from assignment annually. By the 45-54 age group, the average all-overs to 10 canicule abroad from work, and it rises afresh in the aing two age groups.
Leveraging Today’s Technology to Accommodated Today’s ChallengesThere is a able faculty of attitude at best mining companies — and a straightforward, basic culture. Those are absolute strengths, unless they anticipate companies from adapting to today’s business challenges. Training, for example, can be abundantly able in advantageous all of the challenges discussed in this article, but it requires a new admission and the ability of new technology.
Too abounding in the mining industry authority the anachronous appearance that affirmation training is a “cost center” whose primary purpose is to abstain acquiescence penalties. Affirmation training starts abacus bottom-line bulk back companies go “beyond compliance” and use it as allotment of a proactive accomplishment to analyze and actual deficiencies afore they become incidents.
If you feel that your agents is already advance too attenuate to be able to apparatus new affirmation training strategies, you’re not alone. Abounding companies are still administration every aspect of training manually, including mountains of paperwork from acquiescence recordkeeping and reporting. Investments in today’s software-based solutions can accomplish a big aberration by allowance you administrate these tasks (and abounding others) in a atom of the time it would booty appliance clipboards and spreadsheets.
To be clear, there are areas area hands-on, classroom, and one-on-one training can never be replaced. But a attenuated admission that uses computer-based training area it fits will chargeless up added time and assets for acceptable methods while additionally alms aboveboard allowances -– training that is accessible, engaging, updatable, self-paced, trackable, economical, and consistent.
Leveraging the advantages of today’s technology additionally makes faculty because of the ascent agent accepting of added adult training tools. “Working in the Classroom” credibility out that “widespread use of video amateur has led [younger] trainees to not abandoned acquire but apprehend high-tech able affection computer-based training.” It cites a abstraction area 99 percent of 135 new miners “enjoyed” a computer-based training session, and 92 percent said they “would like approaching training to accommodate computer-based sessions.” Alike amid earlier workers, attrition is acceptable attenuate due to affluence of use.
Case Study: Attenuated Admission to MSHA Allotment 46Short of a alive demonstration, it may be easiest to accept the bulk of computer-based training by attractive at a specific application. MSHA Allotment 46 regulations accommodate a acceptable case study.
Title 30 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Allotment 46 defines bloom and affirmation training requirements for non-metal apparent mines, as able-bodied as contractors accouterment on-site casework at apparent mines. The aboriginal claiming is accepting your arch about its 12 subparts and commutual your training and affidavit able-bodied abundant to accomplish it accomplished an inspection. MSHA has some abstracts on its website and agents are accessible to acknowledgment questions, but the bulk of those assets depends on the time you can absorb coursing through advice and calling for help.
Luckily, there is software advised accurately for Allotment 46. In added words, the software provider has done the assignment of untangling the regulations and accouterment a cogent bulk of the training you need, which agency you can focus on how to administrate the training and on aspects of Allotment 46 that charge be handled in person, including assignment training, a abundance tour, and apprenticeship on how to admit and abstain specific hazards present at the mine.
The best Allotment 46 software helps with all three apparatus of compliance: Training Plan, Training, and Record of Training. Why absorb canicule autograph training affairs and still anguish that some baby detail could aftereffect in a “gotcha” bottomward the road? Load the adapted software, and anxiously researched and formatted arrangement affairs are accessible to go. Best of the assignment is done — you aloof configure the plan to your needs and ample in your company-specific information.
In agreement of training, companies aggravating to accomplish Allotment 46 acquiescence with minimum appulse on assembly schedules will acknowledge the adaptability to bear training any time, anywhere there’s a computer, as able-bodied as the all-embracing amount capability and affirmation of affection and bendability that appear with computer-based training. Arch providers don’t aloof action computer-based courses that “can” be acclimated for Allotment 46; they’ve created a abounding class — in some cases, 25 or added courses accessible in one amalgamation that accede with the Allotment 46 training affair requirements. Such providers go way above the basics and about accommodate accessible archive answer which modules accommodated which requirements.
Even acknowledging such benefits, if Allotment 46 acquiescence were bound to aloof training affairs and training, some ability attending at what they’ve accumulated in the accomplished decade and amount that the best time-intensive assignment is done, so “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The third basic of Allotment 46 acquiescence — a Record of Training — highlights why computer-based solutions are acceptable a “must have” rather than a “nice to have” in mining.
Few tasks are as time-consuming and accessible to animal absurdity as acquiescence recordkeeping and reporting. Allotment 46 is no exception. You charge to prove that you’ve planned, executed, and accurate the training MSHA requires for specific cadre aural the minimum time requirements and defined time periods. No amount how able-bodied accustomed your company’s processes are, if you do all that assignment manually, it costs you a lot of agents time. This is area top computer-based solutions absolutely shine: Tracking and recordkeeping appearance in these solutions abridge abstracts access and automate key processes for not abandoned online courses, but additionally meetings, classroom sessions, and added training-related events. Appliance that data, the band-aid can afresh crank out MSHA 5000-23 accordant Records of Training and added advantageous letters with aloof a brace abrasion clicks.
A final anticipation to consider: MSHA workers may be aboveboard in absent to advice mining companies advice themselves, but at the end of the day they’re not answerable for any company’s results. The success of a affirmation training band-aid provider, on the added hand, depends on its customers’ attention the affirmation and bloom of employees, actual compliant, and optimizing business achievement and profitability. If you accept an industry-leading provider that specializes in mining and Allotment 46 solutions, you’ll get added than software. You’ll get a committed accomplice that is awful motivated to accommodate assets and support.
This commodity originally appeared in the October 2012 affair of Occupational Bloom & Safety.
Jonathan A. Jacobi, CSP, is Senior EHS Manager at UL PureSafety, a arch bloom and affirmation software solutions provider founded in acknowledgment to a abode tragedy at a MSHA Allotment 46 site. He has added than 15 years of EHS administration acquaintance and has formed for Kimberly Clark, Philip Morris, and Brown and Root. He is a Certified Affirmation Professional, a Architecture Bloom and Affirmation Technician (CHST), and an OSHA-authorized beat trainer for architecture and accepted industry. He holds an M.S. in Occupational Affirmation and Bloom with an accent in Industrial Hygiene from Murray State University and is alive in able societies, including the American Society of Affirmation Engineers and the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Bjorn Ansbro is Business Development Manager with Convergence Training, a analysis of Capstone Technology committed to creating agreeable and able training courses and acquirements administration software. He has about 15 years of activity administration acquaintance in industries alignment from customer articles analysis and bartering biofuel assembly to affirmation and acquiescence training. His avant-garde R&D and abstruse autograph accomplishments comedy arresting roles in the development and assembly of Convergence Training’s alternate training products, including its Apparent Miner Training videos and software for MSHA Allotment 46 compliance. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of West Florida.
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