Employee Engagement in the Coal & Mining Industry: Reduced Injuries, Increased Productivity

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Being a coal miner is pretty hard work. The shifts are long, the job is tiring, and working conditions can be pretty dangerous. Still, day in and day out, these brave men and women go to work so that we can have the power we need to survive. And, considering the fact that nearly a third of the United States’ electricity is derived from coal, that’s a whole lot of men and women risking bodily harm, or far worse, just so we can keep the lights on.   

Although being a coal miner will always be a hard job filled with many dangers, there is a way to greatly improve working conditions and offer coal miners the level of safety they so rightfully deserve. We’ll get into HOW to achieve this a bit later in the article, but let’s first take a look at WHY working conditions are so unsafe.

The State of the Coal and Mining Industry

The Coal and Mining Industry is a lot safer than it once was, but it still remains among the most dangerous on Earth. The following list is just a sample of the risks miners are exposed to on a daily basis:

  • Gas Explosions
  • Cave-Ins
  • Electrocution
  • Dust Inhalation
  • Chemical Leaking
  • Fumes
  • Long-term Health Conditions

These risks, among many others, are why so many mining companies are counting on safety programs to protect their workers. Unfortunately, many of these safety programs fail to deliver results in the way companies would hope. Simply put, these plans are not designed to meet the unique challenges of the Coal & Mining Industry.

Why? 

Missing the Big Picture 

The majority of safety programs on the market fail to work because they don’t take into account one of the most critical elements required to succeed – employee engagement. Without an engaged team supporting you, your safety plan is headed towards failure.

This is especially true in the Coal & Mining Industry, where engagement levels are 10% less than the national average. In addition to having lower engagement levels, the Coal & Mining Industry also experiences disengagement and hostility rates that are 27% higher than the national average.  

That’s why we at C.A. Short Company champion Safegagement™ -- a strategy that combines safety with employee engagement. Only then can you ensure that workers are operating in the safest possible conditions. 

To promote Safegagement, we offer OSHA® compliant safety incentive solutions that focus on leading indicators, not lagging indicators. These incentives are custom-tailored to every business, so they are guaranteed to fit your business’ need. After all, there is no one-size-fits all approach to safety.

The Power of Safegagement™

Engagement and recognition make all the difference in the world, and you don’t have to take our word for it. Each year, Gallup publishes a “State of the American Workplace” report that focuses exclusively on employee engagement as it relates to the U.S. workforce. Their 2017 findings couldn’t be clearer. 

When compared to companies with low levels of engagement, companies with high levels of engagement experience: 

  • 41% Lower absenteeism
  • 24% lower turnover
  • 70% fewer employee safety incidents
  • 40% fewer quality incidents (defects)
  • 17% higher productivity
  • 21% higher profitability

Gallup isn’t alone in their findings. After learning that South Africa had the third lowest engagement levels in the world, a major mining company in the region decided to implement a program designed to boost employee engagement at their mines. They implemented this strategy at 70 of their locations and noticed the following results:

  • Their production increased by 7% - 50%, depending on the mine
  • Improvements in deep-level gold mining increased by 20 - 40%.
  • Improvements in chrome mining increased by 30%
  • Improvements in platinum mining increased by 20%
  • Improvements in copper mining increased by 20-30%
  • Improvements in gold and iron ore mining increased by 20% 

Getting Started 

If you’d like to learn more about Safegagement's role in the Coal and Mining industry, you should check out our complimentary eBook, Creating Safe Environments in Dangerous Places: Employee Engagement in the Energy & Utilties Industry. It’s filled with a ton of information about what employee engagement can do for your company, as well as specific steps your organization can take today! 

Want even more info? Be sure to subscribe to our blog -- we update it all the time. And if you’re really looking to jumpstart your Safegagement™ efforts, we hope you consider working with C.A. Short Company. Our passion is to engage as many employees as possible, while creating the safest workplace imaginable. And, over the past 80 years, we’ve gotten pretty good at it. See for yourself today! 

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C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here.

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition Strategies, Employee Engagement Strategies, Safegagement, Culture of Engagement

David E Vogelgesang | Regional Manager

About the Author
David E Vogelgesang | Regional Manager

Employee engagement and safety is my passion! As a Regional Manager at C.A. Short Company, I help HR Executives and Safety Directors design, implement, and manage Employee Recognition, OSHA-Compliant Safety Incentives, and Engagement programs that keep employees engaged and safe. ​


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