As mining has always been a hazardous workplace, safety is a prime concern. Safety laws have been essential to provide fundamental layers of regulation but failed to address ignoring or neglecting behaviour.

Installing a miner safety culture within the workplace improves employee safety and impacts how employees feel about their company, increasing their positive feelings about their organisation.

MIner Safety Culture
Miner Safety Culture


According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), while mining employs around 1% of the global labour force, it generates 8% of fatal accidents. However, the overall situation appears to be improving, as there is a downward trend in accidents' severity and fatalities.

In the wake of the Chilean disaster in 2010, when 33 miners were trapped for weeks underground and eventually were rescued, the unions around the world have repeated calls for stricter safety standards.

But laws are just part of the solution to creating a safe environment for miners. In 2020, at least 160 jade miners died in a mudslide due to heavy rains in northern Myanmar. Although there are regulations on the mining of jade in the area, no laws are enforced, and there are no follow-ups. Many mining companies do not follow the guidelines at all.

safety culture mining


Having safety regulations in place does not automatically constitute a safe working environment. Besides not enforcing regulations, other aspects of negligent behaviour can contribute to hazardous situations:

  • Failure to involve the workforce
  • Not reporting near misses
  • Pushing people through the training program too fast
  • Using the wrong tools for a task
  • Delaying machine maintenance

The list of potential pitfalls relying solely on safety regulations is dangerously long. It shows that workplace safety depends on other factors too. In most cases, negligence leads to near misses or incidents.

Safety in Mining


An organisation's safety culture is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the dedication to and the style and mastership of an organisation's health and safety management.

Active employee participation in safety is essential to build ownership of safety at all levels and exploit employees' unique knowledge of their work. Again: listening to the people doing their job is critical. This can include active involvement in workshops, risk assessments, plant design etc.



Implementing a safety culture is a long-term process. The key to truly positive and effective safety culture is to ensure that everyone understands a single golden rule: Safety comes above all else. Safety is above profits, deadlines, management decisions, and anything. For example, suppose safety is your number one priority and part of your set core values (and your staff knows that). In that case, your safety-first attitude will evolve into a successfully developed safety culture.

Besides this golden rule, which steps play a significant role in implementing a safety culture successfully?

  • Create a corporate vision for safety
  • Develop a system for open communication
  • Involve all levels of employees
  • Encourage workers to do the right thing
  • Train employees in workplace safety
  • ...

Continue to read and download our free whitepaper below!

Safety Culture in Mining

Download this whitepaper and learn about

  • The benefits of a positive safety culture

  • Practical suggestions how to implement a miner safety culture step by step

  • The reasons for failing safety regulations


Download your free copy of our whitepaper "Mining Success: Implementing a Positive Safety Culture"