Insurance Companies Closing Gaps in Safety StandardsMon, 10/22/2018 - 16:28
Mining can be a risky business not only in terms of capital but also safety. Considering that operations run 24 hours a day and require the use of heavy machinery, Mexico’s regulation may not be adequately guiding operations toward practices that assure prevention and safety, says Ugolino Durán, National Business Development Manager of Ftech. “The prioritization of safety is growing in Mexico but not enough companies have access to the right information or are obligated to comply with the law,” he says. “International companies are usually much more preventive as they have to follow stricter global standards than those in Mexico.”
Ftech wants to change this by proving fire protection and safety does not have to be a burden. The company offers a wide variety of services and products such as smoke, fire and gas detection and alarms, specialty extinguishing and human fire safety protection. “We can provide the mining industry suppression fire systems by installing the highest-quality carbon dioxide tanks into equipment,” Durán says. “Tunnels also need fire protection and we can collaborate with companies to make sure these structures are protected.” He adds that the company sees a significant area of opportunity in the mining industry for fire protection as few businesses dedicate themselves to these matters although the issue is growing increasingly more important for mine operators.
The company also offers training for various members of an operation, from mine managers to security guards. “The best prevention mechanism is making sure that everyone in the project has the skills to make the right decision when an emergency occurs,” he says. Ftech does not limit its services to the mining industry and equally serves any kind of market including hotels and skyscrapers. It is currently working with groups such as Grupo Posadas.
Durán explains that while Mexico may need to step up its requirements in safety, insurance companies are helping increase the standards of the sector by requiring mines to follow strict norms not laid out by the law. “Insurance providers play a big role in increasing the safety of operations as they expect projects to follow specific norms, especially if they are international.”
While the Mexican mining industry may have its challenges in increasing its standards of safety, Ftech emphasizes that this is a widespread issue not only in the sector but in the country and Latin America. “Regulation in this region does not require companies to follow strict safety practices. For example, very few kitchens or homes have fire extinguishers,” Durán says. “It is not part of the culture yet.”