Five Of The Most Common Human Resources Problems That Come Up For Mining Companies

Business Blog

There are some unique human resources challenges that mining operations face. While there remains a strong demand for coal, production often can't keep up with demand due to labor shortages in many cases.

The most successful mining companies are the ones that understand the unique human resources challenges and succeed in overcoming them.

The following are five of the most commonly faced human resources problems dealt with by mining companies:

Work conditions that create hazards for employees

Unfortunately, the job of mining does involve some largely unavoidable health hazards. Miners must work in situations with poor lighting and often poor ventilation as well. Also, accidents tend to be a frequent occurrence in the mining industry. 

The work conditions of mining make it so that many potential workers are more likely to select just about any other job option if it is available. This makes it difficult for human resources staff to fill job openings.

High rates when it comes to turnover

The poor work conditions can make it so that new employees aim to leave the job as soon as possible to find something else. This leads to a high turnover rate that costs mining companies a lot of money over time.

Turnover costs mining companies money because money must be invested to hire and train new employees. This money is quickly lost if a large percentage of new employees only stay on the job for a few weeks or months. 

Intermittent worker availability

At a lot of mining facilities, many workers rotate working in a mine with periods of working other jobs.

For example, a lot of mining workers are migratory workers at facilities located in rural areas. When harvesting or agricultural work is available, these workers will leave the mines for weeks or months at a time to take advantage of alternative employment.

Not enough professionals out there with the necessary skills

Mining work sites don't need only unskilled labor. Mining also requires skilled professionals such as geologists and engineers.

These advanced skill sets are very highly in demand in a wide variety of industries so that it can be hard to track down qualified employees to fill these professional roles.

The frequency of strikes and the need to negotiate with unions

Mining work forces are often heavily unionized so that strikes are frequent occurrences.

HR for mining companies needs to be skilled at negotiating with union representatives to prevent labor discontentment that negatively impacts productivity. 


15 December 2018

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