SOURCE: marcus evans

marcus evans

April 07, 2015 17:00 ET

Improve HSE Processes Through Increased Vigilance Across the Mining Industry

Interview With Roger Belair, CRSP, CET, FRM, CRM, Director of Health, Safety and Environment at Dumas Mining

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Apr 7, 2015) -  The dangers associated with mining are on the rise, particularly as companies move to more remote and less hospitable regions. Industry leaders have long focused on enhancing their safety management systems and building a safety culture. Beyond holding managers accountable for safety performance, companies invest in education, training, communication and behavioral-based safety programs.

Roger Belair, Director of Health, Safety, and Environment at Dumas Mining recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at their upcoming 3rd Health and Safety Excellence for Mining June 16-18, 2015 in Toronto, ON.

How does Dumas Mining create a comprehensive global health and safety program to maximize the worldwide corporate CSR perception?

RB: As a mining contractor, we need to be versatile and adaptable to any client and jurisdictions that we work in. We have developed a comprehensive library of over 125 procedures, policies and guidelines that are available in English, French and Spanish. In addition we have three in house best practice manuals. Upon notification of award we select the best documentation for the scope of work. Our program has been COR certified (certificate of recognition). The third party auditor, who examined our program, stated that Dumas received the highest rating in the territory of Yukon for its program design, administration and level of implementation.

Technology is constantly changing how people do things, especially within the workplace. How does new technology help to improve HSE training programs and practices?

RB: Dumas is an innovative company; in fact, we have won 4 safety innovation awards over the past six years from the OMCSA (Ontario Mining Contractors Safety Association). These innovations improve the quality of miners' working environment while maintaining quality requirements and production demands.

The overall critical goal is to achieve "zero harm" within the workplace. What creative approaches should be implemented in order to effectively achieve this?

RB: Effective two way dialogue is required to ensure that the appropriate transfer of knowledge occurs between the mine and supervision about risks and controls in the workplace. The success occurs when "follow up" with the worker is done at the work-face where the supervisor conducts observation of the task and provides feedback on where anomalies are found. The sustainability piece lies in the approach and delivery of improvement communication.

Taking a proactive approach to educate the incoming potential miners is crucial before they hit the workforce. What would you like to see stressed more within training programs?

RB: We train, as most companies do, by building a training plan fit for the individual. New miners are paired with seasoned professionals that can transfer subtle "trade secrets" directly in the work environment. There is better learning that is more powerful when you can see, touch and feel the issue and get a story behind the "why we do it this way." This process is providing up-skill for workers in a faster manner so that they become competent.

To ensure the overall physical safety of mining zones, corporations invest in innovative equipment and software for increased vigilance and survival. How do you go about ensuring you are on par or even ahead of the curve?

RB: There are "tell tales" in the geology that guide us on approaches to excavate. We have a life-saving rule that prohibits workers from working under unsupported ground and we bolt our supports as we go. Some jurisdictions in the world are not as critical around the need for appropriate ground support. This is something portable for Dumas.

You have spoken at this marcus evans conference before. What brings you back again this year?

RB: As many of my colleagues, we are all here to share and learn from each other. We have conducted a study with the University of Toronto around a mobile workforce and we want to share our newly found learnings.

Roger Belair, CRSP, CET, FRM, CRM, is the Director of Health, Safety, and Environment at Dumas Mining in Toronto, ON. Dumas has won four provincial Safety Awards for its innovative approach to reducing risk to its employees. The Safety Innovation Award is presented annually by the OMCSA to a mine contracting company that designs or develops an innovative safety tool that reduces injury, and improves health and safety in the workplace.

This premier marcus evans 3rd Health and Safety Excellence for Mining provides a peer-to-peer think tank to create a corporately accepted and multi-generationally-relevant HSE program. For more information, please check out the conference website or contact Monique Filardi, Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR, marcus evans at 312.540.3000 ext. 6641 or moniquef@marcusevansch.com.

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