Chilean Mine Collapse Communication

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Chilean Mine Collapse Communications

Concerning communications with families and fellow employees of the 33 men trapped in the mine collapse, many considerations need to be made. Care needs to be taken when relaying such news. In this event, there are many unknowns, such as the cause, the future of the operation, and primarily the condition of the men inside. The needs of the parties involved, families, friends, and co-workers will differ to some extent and therefore, the approach will change for each.

Considerations to remember are the specific concerns of the parties involved and how those concerns progress. In the case of the families, initial concerns will be of the condition of their loved ones. Unfortunately, in this particular case, the condition of the trapped workers was unknown for more than two weeks. Regardless, the nature of the news would necessitate the presence of some sort of a counselor. Historically, with accidents of this nature, rescue was not an option. Yang (2010) reports that, “Half a century ago, trapped miners were considered lost causes. A caved-in mine would simply be sealed off and crosses would be hammered into the ground. Shortly after the Mina San Jose collapse on Thursday, Aug. 5, miners in the area were already placing wooden crosses outside its entrance, some hung with helmets and miners’ lamps” (paras. 6 & 7). Initial concerns of condition would give way to concerns of the livelihood of the family following potential death of the family member and then, in the case of surviving the accident, the safety of the family member upon return to the workplace. Potential needs of the family will include grief support, continued counseling, and, perhaps, monetary compensation for lost time, wages, etc.

For fellow employees, the concerns and potential needs will differ slightly. The initial concerns will likely be for the wellbeing of the trapped workers as well. This will quickly be replaced, however, by...
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