July 23, 2015 - Today, in partnership with the Center for Research on Health and Safety (ROSHC) from Laurentian University, Vale and the United Steelworkers announced the launch of an unprecedented study about mental health in the mining industry.
The aim of this three-year study, entitled Mining Mental Health , is to gather vital information to develop key strategies to promote the best possible mental health of employees in the division of Vale's operations in Ontario. In addition, the study will enrich the knowledge that will help companies in the world of mining and similar industries to establish evidence-based practices that actually promote good mental health.
The Minister of Labour of Ontario, Kevin Flynn, congratulated the partners to take the lead in exploring mental health issues in this study. "Good employers, he said, recognize the importance of preserving the physical safety and health of their employees, and very good employers make one more step to ensure the safety and psychological well-being in the workplace . Vale is a leader in this field. Thank Vale to support this study and take mental health seriously at work. I hope that many companies will follow suit. "
Current data suggest that the percentage of disability claims attributable to mental health problems in Canada is about 78% for the short term and 67% for the long term. Vale in Ontario, about an application for disability benefits in four is linked to mental health problems.
"In order to establish an effective system of management of mental health, it is vital to understand the indicators, favorable factors and barriers to good mental health in our operations and in our industry, said Jody Kuzenko, Director Vale of production services in Ontario and ROSHC member of the board. We are proud to play a leading role in this study conducted in partnership with the USW and Laurentian University and contribute to the welfare of our workers. "
"Mental health, particularly that of workers in industrial environments, has long been a neglected research area and underfunded. That is why this study is important, said Mr. Leo Gerard, international president of the Steelworkers Union and President ROSHC Advisory Board. I am pleased that the United Steelworkers, Vale and ROSHC also combine usefully and effectively to address this issue and reduce the suffering and the effects of poor mental health on workers and their families. "
The study will include a complete survey of a sample of workers of all Vale of trade groups in Ontario. Mr. Michel Larivière, a clinical psychologist and associate director ROSHC will lead a multidisciplinary research team ROSHC who work closely with the Joint Committee on Occupational Health Vale and USW in all phases of the study, survey design to the presentation of results.
"Until now, there has been little research on mental health and well-being of mining workers. However, there is strong evidence that indicate a link between these issues and productivity, absenteeism, injuries, and above all, quality of life, says Larivière. Through this collaborative study, we hope to better understand the welfare of the workforce. Our findings could help shape the most suitable policies and procedures to the welfare of the mining sector and others. "
The research team will also include postdoctoral research fellows and graduate students and undergraduates. The study is expected to cost about $ 400,000.