Inclusive Workplace Design in Mining Roundtable – Toronto

Published: 01/05/2020

IWiM had a roundtable discussion for our new project Inclusive Workplace Design in Mining on March 4, 2020 in Toronto, Canada during PDAC.

Thank you to our industry participants for attending and Norton Rose Fulbright for providing the conference room.

Workplace design refers to the process of designing and organising a workplace to optimise worker performance and safety. An effective workplace design utilises a multidisciplinary approach.

Technology, automation, digitalisation, ESG, globalisation, demographics, climate change and geopolitical transformations are making a significant impact on the work landscape.

Mining is undergoing a digital revolution and preparing for automation of mines. This in turn, forces companies to focus on workplace attractiveness, health, safety, mechanisation, automation, and work management.

In the last 20 years the practice of mining has changed significantly; equipment, tools and procedures have changed too. A lot of emphasis has been placed in recent years on safety and reducing accidents and ergonomics is becoming more integrated into overall work management systems.

The mining industry now faces the challenge of securing a future workforce. The current skills shortage is due to a number of factors: lack of skilled miners, drillers, mining engineers to name a few; lack of an appealing sector image; ageing workforce with little knowledge transfer; cyclical nature of the industry means people are let go rather than plans in place to retain the workforce; lack of students studying mining; competing with tech companies and other industries for new skills/jobs and mining companies find it difficult to recruit young people. Healthy and productive environments need to be put in place to attract the skills for the future.

Applying modern technologies, providing fitting PPE, toilets and changing rooms, offering better shift design and more flexibility/agile working to employees will make work environments better and safer. It can also make a more diverse group of workers and genders that now form the mining industry welcome and engaged.

This is an opportunity for the mining industry to make some changes in workplace design be that in the office or at mine site. The aim is increased employee engagement & retention and participation in advancing prosperous, inclusive and equitable economies and societies.

Objectives of our Campaign

  • To discuss innovative and practical ideas to improve workplace design that benefits women and men working in mining
  • Share best practice and find solutions to achieve attraction to the sector, recruitment, retention and well-being of women and men working in mining


Stakeholders across mining sector: industry, supply chain, individuals, international institutions and associations, academia.