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Gecamin Conferences

Professionals ask for advances in security and occupational health at Safemining 2016

The First International Seminar on Safety and Occupational Health in Mining brought together 140 participants for more than 30 presentations by authors from Germany, Australia, Brazil, the USA, Chile and Peru.

With a call to advance occupational health and safety and the problematic period that the commodity sector faces, the First International Seminar on Safety and Occupational Health in Mining was held, all while bringing together 140 participants for more than 30 presentations, 6 plenary presentations, and a panel discussion, by authors from countries like Germany, Australia, Brazil, the USA, Chile and Peru.

The event that took place the 3 and 5 of August at the Hotel Grand Hyatt, Santiago, was presided by Guillermo Cavalli – former Occupational Health and Security Manager for the El Teniente Division in Codelco and recently named Plant Manager for the Andina Division – who led the gathering of the mining professionals.

“We are in a difficult moment and period in the copper industry where we can lose control even further than we have; there, we have to be firm and convincing that we can’t compromise on what we have achieved thus far,” emphasized Cavalli, who also highlighted the presentations about leadership and reaffirmed that “we have to be close to the workers, collect their concerns and respond through preventative measures.”

Robin Burgess-Limerick, International Co-Chair of Safemining and Professor at the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre – Sustainable Minerals Institute (MISHC-SMI) of the University of Queensland, Australia, responded along the same lines, supporting that “la industria minera chilena claramente se enfrenta al desafío de seguir haciendo mejoras en la seguridad y la salud en tiempos de precios bajos de los productos”.

“El desafío es desarrollar soluciones a los problemas de seguridad y salud, que sean a la vez más seguros y productivos (…) Una conferencia como Safemining es un valioso medio por el cual las empresas pueden continuar compartiendo sus aprendizajes para que todos puedan beneficiarse”, he stated.

Cultural Challenge

The call was joined by the Safemining 2016 Technical Coordinator and Segumass Operations Manager Maritza Henriquez, who affirmed: “Let’s not look back, let’s look for a new sight for the 21st century”. In that way he captivated the advance towards a “preventative culture”.


“We are advancing towards another culture, towards a culture with gender diversity, with generational diversity, where new paradigms will be set, however these should go adding and multiplying (…) We have to form a preventative culture in every organization” he stated.

In the same context, Alex Covarrubias, the National Vice-President of the Seminar and Dean from the Engineering and Construction Science Faculty from the Universidad Católica del Norte, sustained that “without a place for doubts the greatest challenges in this environment is to make this topic acquire the characteristics of the culture so that all, from the youngest, can have it present at all times and in all of their tasks. This is difficult to achieve; it’s for the long-term, generational, and thus the immediate challenge is to at least start with higher education levels”.