Health & Safety in a Modernized Mining Environment

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Dr. Deonie Botha, Head of Research & Development at NOSA, explores new and emerging occupational safety and health risks and challenges as identified by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)'s in their recent foresight report.

These identified risks and challenges are:

  • The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on work and OSH;
  • The impact of globalization of trade on managing work;
  • The impact of the financial crises on the nature of work;
  • The impact of changing location on OSH;
  • Trends in human resource management practices affecting worker well-being.

The findings of the EU-OSHA foresight report are confirmed by several recent global megatrend and risk reports (Singh, 2015; World Economic Forum, 2015). These reports allude to the fact that robotics and automation will have an impact on all industries and aspects of life. Closely related to the pervasiveness of ICT is the rise of hyperconnectivity or what is referred to as the Internet of Things. Therefore, it is not surprising that ICT would also have a significant influence on the mining industry and more specifically, in the form of the global drive towards the increased automation and mechanisation (referred to as modernisation) of mines.  

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