once a miner, always a miner

The  accident with the Chilean miners and their succeeded rescue took me back to my last six years of work in a company specialized in underground works, including but not limited to mines. Let me explain that construction of tunnels is also a job made by miners, it’s heavy underground works. And this company I worked for was also part of the construction consortium that rebuilt some mines in Portugal.

As part of the team but in open air environment, as a secretary, I made good friends at the company, who are still working there and working underground, every day. Seeing these Chilean miners in this situation made me remember how dangerous their work is and how this heavy works must be done in the most safety conditions, minimizing risks in order to prevent accidents. The company’s motto is “Zero Risks, Zero Accident” as a goal to achieve by each and every employee, from the engineer to the foreman as well as the administrative team. Seeing this event through the tv set  also made me feel happy to have my friends all safe till now.

I talked to two of them this week. The feeling is “working is important and we must always do our best but I don’t want to think just about work. I want to be more with my family at home and to enjoy the moments where I can see the sun”.

This kind of job requires, as we well know, a full commitment to the team but also heavy duty hours, it’s a fact that it’s not a 9-17 job.  It also comes with the job for some positions, like the Engineers or the Safety Managers for instance, a lot of administrative work, paperwork, requiring hours of research, writing technical notes, reading articles, etc. It’s a full day and night job.

Miners themselves don’t just work on excavation. There are so many other things they do, like lightening or mechanical maintenance. Foreman read plans, manage people and equipments. It’s a real complex team work.

This accident and the rescue have glued me to the TV channel! It made me feel proud of my former company despite the fact that I’m not working for the company anymore. Which makes me understand a sentence miners frequently say: “Once a miner, always a miner!”

A special note to CNN, who made all the rescue coverage, not fearing to be considered “boring” but instead showing a great respect for human being, not just the miners but waiting also for the last rescue man to get out of the mine! Congratulations @CNNLive.

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