Mining Publication: Safety and Health Training for an Evolving Workforce: An Overview From the Mining Industry
Safety and health professionals recognize that training is a critical element of any effective safety and health program. An extensive literature survey has led the authors to conclude that we are at the beginning of a revolution in training due to changes in the demographics of the workforce, the rapid growth of technology, and the universal ascendance of the information age. Of present major concern in the mining industry is how to provide appropriate training for an aging workforce and concurrently develop training for the expected influx of new and less experienced miners as older workers retire. This report explores the key issues in the changing safety and health training area as identified by the multidisciplinary team of NIOSH researchers who conducted the literature survey. Issues include generational differences between newer mine workers and the present workforce with respect to their physical, psychological, social, and cultural characteristics; their learning styles and work expectations; and the impact of technology. Some preliminary conclusions are offered for future training needs.