Business ethics

What Are the Mining Industry’s Responsibilities during COVID-19

 

Zaheera Soomar presents an article based on the results of a recent conference on corporate responsibility for health and safety in mining. 

I recently presented at the DRC Mining Week Digital Event on a new “modus operandi” for health and safety in mining. There was some good dialogue and I have had multiple follow ups and conversations since on an organization’s responsibility. Thought it would be good to share some views on this.

In the past few weeks alone there have been various health and safety incidents in the news. Despite the extractives and industrials industries existing for centuries, with focus on health and safety and a host of advanced H&S measures in place, people are still getting injured and dying. Covid-19 has certainly added its own sets of challenges to the mix, with mining companies having to make decisions on keeping mines open, having minimal operational presence and ensuring the safety of those that continue to work. One of the main implications that faced the mining companies was health and safety in general of their employees and host communities, and whether it’s a factor of their mining operations or not – but more importantly – what their duty is at this time. Despite what we all might hope for – this is not a one off: there will no doubt be other phenomena and risks as the global operating environment becomes more volatile with increased risks relating to climate change, pandemics etc. As a result, mining and other companies are re evaluating their role around health and safety, not just from an employer perspective, but from a human rights and ethical perspective!

 

Included in this article:

  • Responsibility to employees
  • Responsibility to stakeholders
  • Responsibility to community

 

Read the full article, Rethinking health and safety in Mining – what is an organization’s responsibility?, on LinkedIn.