5th August 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped 2,000 feet underground for over two weeks. The miners were working at a depth of around 450m (1,475ft) at the San Esteban mine, near the city of Copiapo, when the rock above them collapsed. This was a headline around the world and forever pain for the miners and their family members. Major incident is uncommon in Chile, the top mine producer country. The rescue works started after 17 days after the incident but progress has been hampered because the main entrance is blocked. A second collapse on 7 August hampered rescue efforts, blocking access to the lower parts of the mine. They got rescued after 69 days.
Crisis is defined as a major, unpredictable event that has potentially negative results. The event and its aftermath may significantly damage an organization and its employees, products, services, financial condition and reputation. There are many types of crises, for example, Economic crises, physical crises, personnel crises, criminal crises, information crises, reputation crises and natural crises. This incident has been grouped into physical crises, natural crises and economic crises. In order to prevent crises from adversely affecting the firm, organizations need effective plans and procedures in place to prevent crises if possible or to mitigate their effects when they do occur.
Physical crises include industrial accident, product failures, supply breakdown and many more. The miners were working for the San Esteban Mining Company, (Spanish: Compañía Minera San Esteban abbreviated to CMSE), a company notorious for operating unsafe mines. The collapse of the rock was considered as industrial accidents. The employer must provide a safe working environment, pre-cautions and responsible for the miners’ safety. CMSE had ignored warnings over unsafe working conditions in its mines. They refused to listen to the workers’ voices. As a result of lack of health and safety and greedy businessmen, 33 miners in the San José mine had to suffered 66 days underground. Collapsed of the rocks is natural disaster, it is unforeseen circumstances although this kind of incident had happened several times in Australia, New Zealand and United States. Economic also one of the crises involved. Eighteen mines were shut down and a further 300 put under threat of possible closure after the incident. Subsequently, this will cause recession when the miner will lose their job due to the closure of the mines. Chilean government had to spend more than $20 millions in the inspections and to ensure the safety. But in the order hand, the technology and the efficiency during the dramatic mining rescue would attract the foreign companies to invest in Chile, and it built a positive image for the investors.
Crisis management is the systematic attempt to avoid organization crisis or to manage those crises events that do occur. It is a process that requires guidelines, resources, analysis, communication...