Today’s ‘Best Mining Story’ comes to us from Rick Cruea, Vice-President and General Manager, Kettle River-Buckhorn, who shares a story that has impacted his personal and professional life. He reminds us about the importance of safety and ‘Putting People First’.
“I started my mining career many years ago at a large underground mine in Arizona. I worked there for 27 years until the mine shut down. During my time there, I did many different jobs and by the time the mine closed, I was the General Superintendent of operations and maintenance.
Like many mining families, my three oldest sons followed in my foot steps and went to work at the same mine. I’m proud of that fact, but it did have an unexpected consequence.
As you can imagine, as General Superintendent I would frequently get phone calls in the middle of the night when something at the mine was wrong. What changed for me was when my three boys started working there. Now, every time the phone would ring, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘what shift were my boys on?’ and ‘were they okay?’ It was a very unsettling feeling!
I’ve always cared about peoples’ safety, but it hit me that every one of the almost 1000 people that worked at that mine had someone at home that would have those same feelings when their loved ones were working and the phone rang at an unexpected time.
I have had a much different and more personal view of keeping people safe since those days.
Many families depend on their loved ones coming home safe and healthy every day after work. That’s one reason I am very proud to work for a company like Kinross that has such a strong top-down safety culture.”
The Cruea clan: Rick Cruea Sr.,Vice-President and General Manager, Kettle River-Buckhorn, with sons Wesley, Rick and Robert