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Sunday, August 12, 2007 

Is The Loss Of Miners Lives Just Part Of The Cost Of Doing Business In The USA?

After almost a week, six US miners are still missing underground. Considering that the technology and expertise exists to ensure that miners receive the maximum amount of protection possible through underground 'safe rooms', this story may well have a tragic ending that was NOT necessary. I hope these six workers come out safely!

So ... why do the American mine owners NOT utilize technology that is proven to save the lives of miners in Saskatchewan, Canada?

Do they doubt the technology? Why would the companies that insure the mine owners not insist that the new technologies be used to ensure increased safety for miners?

These are questions that are going to have to be addressed by the American mining industry in the days and weeks to come.

Mine safety in Canada VERSUS mine safety in the USA


These are questions that are going to have to be addressed by the American mining industry in the days and weeks to come.

I wouldn't bank on that. Most of the families still have other friends and family working for this clown and he essentially owns their towns, they won't talk. For every one person who talks they'll trot out 50 naysayers.

What would be the local reaction if Congress (noting Ted Kennedy's interest in the topic) passed Federal regulations ... would that be sufficient to get the owner/owners to start spending some money to boost safety?? Glad to see ya Mama!

I expect they will spend money the question will be if they spend it in ways that are at all productive.

I definitely don't give the owners a pass but the person who posted about serious problems with our oversight agencies was not lying.

Federal regulations exist the problem is with implementation and the way we operate. What happens is that safety and caution are often thrown out the window at mid-management level because they are under performance pressure from the people on top. If they don't meet or exceed whatever bar has been set for them by upper management....they're out of a job. Upper management can then plausibly deny all knowledge of how disasters like this occur because they didn't know of any safety violations. Of course they didn't know because they didn't want to know. They only looked at their balance sheets, decided how much profit they expected to make and then demanded their mid-level people deliver. They don't ask how.

I'm seeing it at my husbands company right now. In spite of the housing market slow down upper management and shareholders are pressuring for increased productivity and more profit so in an attempt to deliver and hang on to their jobs mid-level management is cutting corners and blissfully ignoring safety regulations. They don't directly order people to break safety regs....they simply make demands that are impossible to meet without breaking them. Then if/when something goes awry they can deny all knowledge of safety violations.

I'm not going to say the name of his company but it's a subsidiary of one of the top performing US Dow industrials and you'd know the name, not some little fly-by-night local operation.

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