The mining companies will need to make safety technology a primary part of their field operations to replace a retiring generation of field workers.
FREMONT, CA: The challenges posed by the metals and mining industry's ageing workforce aren't going away anytime soon. According to studies, roughly half of the significant skill categories' employees are nearing retirement. As these senior workers retire, businesses worldwide will experience a talent shortage. The younger workers are also not filling in the gaps. Enrollment in undergraduate mining programs is declining dramatically. These variables combine to generate a skills gap that will be difficult to fill.
While every mining sector is feeling the strain, field operations are in particularly terrible condition. Field operations require new employees but finding them from a small pool of young professionals is difficult. Safety concerns, views of isolated work cultures, and recent media coverage of significant incidents have all played a role in deterring young people from entering the industry.
Cutting-edge technology has the potential to help solve these issues. A start has been made by a group of top businesses in the field to focus on emerging technologies, digitalization, and smart solutions. Digital platforms are essential for attracting younger generations because they enable more efficient task completion with fewer people. Organizations that adopt new solutions that are flexible and reactive and enhance safety and efficiency can attract more employees.
Safety for a new generation
Mining businesses cannot just concentrate on operational efficiency when it comes to modernization. A technology-driven strategy to safety is equally important for attracting new talent away from competitors.
In-field operations, old methods to safety will have to evolve as well. Typically, safety management systems have shaped policies and practices based on evidence gained from previous events. In addition, instead of continuous monitoring, these systems rely on stationary snapshots.
As a result, they frequently result in reactive instead of proactive decision-making. Rather than utilizing situation archetypes to identify rising risks based on regulations and procedures, digital AI-driven solutions can go beyond process-driven analyses to provide essential insights on every site's unique hazard throughout the job's lifespan.
Innovative solutions are assisting the industry is taking more proactive measures to safeguard field employees. Paper-based legacy processes waste time and money and fail to offer a complete view of a location. Management can make better-informed safety decisions and implement them faster by providing real-time visibility and enabling users to take video, images, audio, and text.
Developing a safety culture
Technology is only one part of the puzzle. If mining businesses want to recruit the next generation of field workers, they must prioritize safety in their cultures. Executives must be able to produce results.
While executives must lead the way in prioritizing safety, this mindset must be implemented from scratch. As a result, field workers require access to the most up-to-date safety technology. It makes inspections easier and more effective, but it also demonstrates that the company cares about the well-being of its field workers.