It goes without saying that the Mine Safety landscape is one filled with many challenges and history is full of examples with the severity and consequences of safety in mining like no other industry. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 is a testament to how complicated and high consequence safety is in mining. I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of mine operations across the United States over the last decade with multiple companies and there is one constant theme, today’s mines run lean on people. Enter technology.
I must admit something that is hard to say, but I am told it is the first step, I am a Millennial. There, I said it and I feel better even though now you assume I live in my parent’s basement. I only share this to illustrate how much I embrace technology because of my generation. That said, I think we need to be very careful in the mining industry to focus our application of technology regarding safety in the correct places. Let’s make sure we don’t try to replace the good stuff, the face-to-face interactions and commitments to safety.