Mining industry in Chile has the lowest accident rates of the last 18 years

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Mining industry in Chile has the lowest accident rates of the last 18 years

Ministerio de Minería en Flickr

Context | Chilean Ministry of Mining – Flickr

The Chilean Mining Minister, Aurora Williams, led the delivery of the “National Balance of Mining Accidents 2017”, prepared by the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin), an opportunity in which it was highlighted that the local industry has the lowest accident rates of its last 18 years.

“Having zero fatality may seem distant, but it is getting closer as we have been able to improve public institutions,” said Williams.

The authority led the delivery of the accidents document, an occasion in which the National Director of Sernageomin, Mario Pereira, and the National Head of Mining Safety and Oversight of the agency, Antonio Videka, also participated.

“I take advantage of highlighting the quality of the inspection carried out by Sernageomin, as well as its preventive work. It is important to recognize the work of the professionals in charge of this work throughout the country. I also value the commitment shown by the companies and each worker in the sector”, stressed the Secretary of State.

During the delivery of the balance, it was reported that the accident rate with fatal results is the lowest of the last 18 years. In 2017, the number of deaths reached 12 people, which represents a 52% decrease compared to 2013.

The accident rate considers the fatality and accidents that produce temporary disability and is measured according to its recurrence. This frequency rate has shown a sustained reduction since 2013. In that period, the indicator was 2.62, while in 2017 it was 1.6.

On the occasion, it was specified that in all 2017 there were 12 fatal accidents with twelve deaths. Of the total of accidents, 8 correspond to the Great Mining, 2 to the Small Mining and 3 to the Artisanal Mining.

Sernageomin committed to continue working on various strategies to reach “Zero Harm” within the industry.

Mario Pereira said that “the figure we have reached is a significant advance. It is an incentive for which we have worked systematically as a Service, together with the companies and their workers who are the protagonists of this decrease. Confirms that the culture of security is necessary and we must maintain efforts to continue with the trend”.

For his part, Antonio Videka said that “it is the result of working together with the national mining industry, driven by the policies of the body, which have been oriented for the past 2 years to ostensibly improve the quality of audits over the number of them to be carried out”.

In addition, the Secretary of State referred to the public policies that the Government of President Michelle Bachelet has developed to achieve the goal of Zero Harm, as is the updating of the Mining Safety Regulation.

In this regard, he emphasized that “it constitutes an important effort made by Sernageomin through an internal work of its technicians that was submitted to citizen participation. Today is in the revision stage by the Comptroller, therefore, we are waiting for the process to end”.

He added “the objectives of this update are to adjust the standards to the current reality of the mining industry; second, overcoming regulatory deficiencies; improve the wording and structure of the Regulation; and third, establish special regulations for small mining and include new materials”.

On this regulation, Pereira said that “it will reinforce what we promote from this management, because it increases the standard -among other things- in the training of Experts and Monitors in risk prevention in the mining industry”.

He added that “in parallel, Sernageomin will continue with prevention campaigns to prevent accidents in the mining industry.”

SOURCE: Ministry of Mining | Press release