The work by rotating shifts and the assignment of work in the mining deposits have been areas of interest for many during the last years. However, it is a complex science, and it is not a solution for everything.
Importance of work by rotating shifts within the mining sector
Today, the mining industry focuses more on the costs of its operations and less on recruiting and retaining employees.
Both the company and the contractors are reducing their fixed cost base, and they are surprised by the level of improvements brought by the modification of work agreements per shift, although they are aware that it is a useful tool.
It is also an important option due to the risk factor. One of the attractions of making changes to the system, such as shift work agreements and the task assignment record, is the great ability to maintain benefits compared to other improvement initiatives.
Companies that carry out mining operations are aware that periods of low profitability are generally followed by better conditions when staffing is required again. Implementing part-time positions temporarily, provides the advantage of retaining more skilled employees in the business during these periods. Some employees under the FIFO regime may also take additional rest time and a more familiar lifestyle for a period. Thus, profits increase in the short term by saving labor costs and in the long term, recovering more strongly.
There are many options like this, which can impact the profitability of a mine, but it also depends on the support of its workforce. Employee interest is still a key factor in understanding and constructing shifting work agreements. Even when change is difficult for employees, there are some paths that can be followed to achieve a successful change.
Considerations to take into account
Achieving a balanced design is an important consideration because it helps the task record pass the test of time. Businesses will prioritize the list of tasks, employees will have interest around their work in shifts, in addition issues such as health, fatigue and alertness level should be taken into consideration. Reaching the right balance is the best strategy even when costs and productivity are paramount.
Reaching equilibrium varies from one mining operation to another, due to the mix of employees, operational differences and fatigue factors such as location. It is recommended to consider each scenario individually. A list designed for shift work conditions in a mine will not be optimal in another mining operation.
How to reduce the number of fatalities?
Fatigue or lack of alertness on the part of workers can contribute to safety incidents, which in turn are influenced by turn-based work agreements and employee decisions regarding their lifestyle..
Adopting the risk-based approach to manage the impact of fatigue is reasonable, allowing several shift work factors to be fully considered. For example, the risk of fatigue from long cycles of operations, usually in the FIFO regime, can be offset by a good rest period provided in a well-managed mining camp.
A good approach would be to first understand all existing factors within the work area by shifts, and control the overall risk by regulating or compensating for high risk factors. Richard Warke is one of well known name in mining industries. Richard Warke Vancouver is a Vancouver-based Canadian business executive with more than 25 years of experience in the international resource sector.