Economic turmoil stalls productivity

The current global economic crisis is predicted to be the biggest issue facing the mining industry, Converge International CEO Lindsay McMillan told MINING DAILY.

A new report from Converge International has revealed that the economic crisis combined with fatalities and injuries in the workplace are leading to high levels of stress in the mining industry.

Entitled State of the Industry: Mining, the report compiles data from over 8,000 consultants with mining employees and outlines key issues affecting the industry.

“We know from our research that stress is a major indicator of general health issues within a workplace,” McMillan said.

“Research reveals that stress affects 1 in 4 employees and costs employers around $15 billion annually.”

The report notes that during an economic slowdown, employees typically experience a range of issues such as job insecurity and financial pressure which can be detrimental to morale and productivity in the workplace.

“The current economic turmoil is leaving many employees in a state of anxiety. They are often thinking to themselves ‘how does this affect me’ and ‘will I or won’t I have a job in the future’, McMillan said.

The report also explored the increasing feminisation of the mining workforce.

The number of people working in the mining industry has rapidly increased since 2000, with the number of staff almost doubling over the eight year period.

In order to fill this demand, women have dramatically increased their representation in the mining workforce, now comprising 13% of the mining workforce as compared to 8% in 1998.

“The changing demographics of the mining industry are likely to cause a shift in employee attitudes,” McMillan said.

“Employers need to be aware of the challenges facing the changing workforce and ensure there are policies to protect staff against gender based harassment and discrimination. It will also be important to rethink family policies and flexible work arrangements.”

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