August 5 at the San Esteban mine, near the city of Copiapo, Chile 34 miners have been missing and presumed trapped after a collapse of the main shaft. At this time it is uncertain of the extent of injuries after the collapse. The Minera San Estaban Primera company; owners of the San Esteban mine have stated mining accidents on a major scale are uncommon in Chile and hopes are high that all the 34 workers made it to the refuge area where supplies are located. Rescuers are underway in hopes of locating all 34 workers alive.
The primary method for rescue is drilling holes in an attempt to locate the workers. There are concerns about the amount of oxygen at this depth approximately 100 meters below the surface. With a drilled hole into the shaft where miners are believed to be; needed supplies may be delivered until a full rescue can be attempted. I believe a report more in line with what I wrote about would have been a far more positive way of delivering a hard message to concerned family members, coworkers at the mine, and all humans with concern for these miners. In our text a quote was found from Ralph Nichols.
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. ” If the owners of the mining company had listened to the concerns of the family members a more positive method of communicating the situation and tactics that may be utilized to save these workers. If the San Jose mine owners had attempted to use a central idea and main points while informing the media of their intentions many of the angry family members who received little or no information would not have been as quick to call for safety records.
The use of visual support to quickly let the audience know that the company and rescue team was at least working on plan would have been very helpful in easing the minds of the audience. Early in the incident the company gave almost no information to the media or family. A crude outline of the events would have been an improvement in the communication process over the lack of communication displayed early on. A plan of action displayed for the world to see has great value here.
Had the company used the fact form of persuasion to deliver a message to concerned audience members many of the family members may have been put at ease somewhat. Had the company stated that Chile had very few major mining incidents in its history this could have went very far to improve the relationship with the media and concerned onlookers. Explaining that supplies would be provided for the duration of this event and these workers would not be abandoned even if it was implied would have been very valuable.
The use of value in this communication process letting everyone know that the miners were indeed valued by this company and all that could be done would be done surely would have been a positive and assisted all parties involved. Obviously to discuss policy and or procedures for mine collapse would have persuaded the audience of the company’s determination to do the right thing. This also eases the audiences mind that the company has plans in place prior to an incident.
The company did not do any of these things early in the emergency. If the company could have simply stated their intentions to fix this problem and improve operations in the future many of their mistakes could have been forgiven. It may not have been possible early on to discuss the intentions to keep the mine open, if it could have this would have reinforced to everyone that the company would be here throughout the incident and beyond.
As many of us know the incident took 70 days to complete and the miners were delivered supplies through a small tube for the duration. Although this story has a heroic and happy outcome; the first few days of the incident was hell for onlookers. Watching video from the incident probably would indicate a need for better nonverbal communications by the mine owners. Neither nonverbal communication, semantics, nor syntax would have changed the family’s grief in the beginning nearly as much as the lack of communication did affect them negatively.