Re-Defining Safety, A Social Innovation For Sustainability


Ms Mafalda Arias

The Mount Polley mine tailing dam failure that occurred in south-central British Columbia in August 2014 is the scenario that frames this research project which explores the culture of safety in mining and mineral exploration industries in British Columbia. The purpose of the project is to define the culture of safety for government, industry and Indigenous people, compare and contrast meanings; develop an understanding and awareness about safety and how this affects the communication between government, industry and Indigenous people; analyze the role culture plays, its impacts on safety, and how this may contribute to misunderstandings; and explore the possibility of expanding the existing definition of safety to include Indigenous perspectives. This project used two research methods: theme analysis and qualitative interviews. The results showed that culture has an impact on safety, the different values and sensory worlds support the distinct safety definition from government, industry and Indigenous people.