Mining Publication: The Evolving Mining Workforce: Training Issues
Safety and health professionals from all sectors of industry recognize that training is a critical element of an effective safety and health program. A major concern in the mining industry today is how to train the present aging workforce, plus the expected influx of new and less experienced miners and mine operators as the cohort of older workers retires. This paper defines this problem, offers a model to structure the inquiry, and presents the key issues identified by a multi-disciplinary team of NIOSH researchers, based on an extensive review of the current literature in relevant areas. Issues include differences among cohorts, such as the newer workers (Nexters) and present workers (Veterans/Boomers/Xers), with respect to their physical, social, psychological, and cultural characteristics, their learning styles, and their work expectations. Specific issues for an aging workforce are discussed and some preliminary recommendations are offered for discussion on the type of training needed for the evolving mining workforce.