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Crisis Management: Disaster In Chile Essay

4088 words - 17 pages

On October 13, 2010, thirty three miners of Chile were finally rescued. The men had been trapped underground since August 5, 2010 when a rockfall caused a tunnel to collapse. Since then, the miners had remained trapped in a collapsed gold and copper mine for two months. The miners were hauled to the surface by a specially designed steel shaft known as “Phoenix” capsule through 2,050 feet of rock to the surface. While the mission of rescuing was completed, the Chilean government has gained enormous applauds from the world for their meticulous and systematic crisis management. Based on the Chile mine disaster, I would like to discuss some issues arising from the catastrophe in which it will be ...view middle of the document...

As the definitions stated above, a crisis has the characteristic of being a major, unpredictable event that cause harmful effect in which the Chile mine disaster falls under these particular definitions. On the other hand, one shall not forget the basic causes of a crisis may be of the acts of God, mechanical problems, human errors, and/ or management decisions or indecisions. In the case of Chile mine disaster, one would claim that it might be the acts of God since Chile has experienced earthquake six months before the collapsed of the mine. Others would blame that it is human error as the miners realize poor safety standards in the mine, but they never aggressively voice up to the management to take any action. The management indecisions shall be put on blame as they did not have a formalized crisis management plan beforehand that caused them to panic after the tragedy. The private held San Esteban mining company, who owned the mine, went bankrupt in September, a month after the tragedy, leaving the Chile government alone to take responsibility on rescuing plan right after the collapsed of the mine due to the mine company lacking of formalized crisis management plan and experience. Moreover, the mechanical problems also contributed to such crisis. In which, the miners were at first tried to escape all the way through the ventilation shaft system, but the ladders required by mining safety codes were absent. These shafts later became inaccessible due to ground movements and could not be used by the rescue teams later. As reported in the telegraph: “Following that incident, the company was told to install ladders in escape tunnels for miners to use in the event of shaft collapses but failed to do so.” (the telegraph). 4 In addition, types of crisis should be taken into consideration when one intends to understand the nature of crises. There are seven types of crises which include economic crises, physical crises, personnel crises, criminal crises, information crises, reputational crises, and natural disaster crises. Economic crises include economic downturn, stock market crashes, and mortgage crisis. Personnel crises could be strikes, exodus of employees, and workplace violence. Criminal crises will be terrorism, kidnappings, and merchandises tampering. Information crises may refer to theft of information. Reputational crises may as well refer to industrial scandal. Natural disasters include tsunami, earthquake, and floods. . The most important that one has to consider will be physical crises which consist of workplace accident, merchandise failures, and supply shortage. The type of crises that refer to the Chilean mining accident will be the physical crisis which caused industrial accidents among the thirty three miners. In case of crises, there may be five major outcomes which include escalation in intensity, subjection to media and government scrutiny, interference with normal business operations, damage of the company bottom line, and/ or...

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