Health and Safety in Mineral Exploration – The Role of the Prospectors and Developers Association
CIM Edmonton 2008
Courtney Mitchell, Ian Paterson, Courtney Mitchell, Ian Paterson,
Mineral exploration has unique health and safety issues because working conditions are complex and often in remote regions subject to extremes of weather and terrain. The industry is increasingly dominated by junior companies and small contractors, which lack the internal health and safety resources of major companies. With the recent expansion in mineral exploration there has been a significant increase in accidents and fatalities. Due to difficult access to advanced care while working in remote sites, minor accidents have the potential to become major issues.
The Prospectors and Developers Association recognizes that health and safety are integral parts of responsible mineral exploration and has formed a committee to assist industry achieve zero fatalities and to decrease accidents.
For two years the PDAC committee has assessed exploration safety performance through an annual Canadian national exploration accident survey by partnering with the Association for Mineral Exploration in British Columbia (AME BC), which for over 20 years has conducted such an accident survey in the Canadian Cordillera.
The PDAC committee believes it is critical to raise awareness within the industry and is preparing comprehensive field health and safety guidelines that is planned to be freely available on the internet by fall 2008. No company or contractor should lack a current relevant health and safety manual.