OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

OSHA Bosses Analyse Occupational Health and Safety Issues in the Movie “The 33”


What’s this!!! Safety issues?? I’m all ears………..

The 33

Helmet worn by one of the 33 miners showing engraved Roman numbered carvings of the number of days they were trapped in the mine


What’s the movie about? Let’s see…….

The movie “The 33” starts off displaying a fact, “Every year 12,000 miners die in mining accidents around the world.”

The 33, staring Antonio Banderas as Miner Mario Sepulveda, is a movie based on a true event of the 2010 mining disaster that occurred in Chile where thirty tree (33) men were trapped inside the San Jose Mine for more than two months. The movie in a nutshell depicts the catastrophic fall of the San Jose Mine and the tremendous ordeal faced by the thirty three (33) men that were trapped inside. This event is believed the have occurred due to the negligence of the Mine owners who ignored the warnings of the failing stability of the mine.

The 33 Trailer

Throughout the movie there were obvious health and safety concerns:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Hazards

Let’s start with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn by the miners. At the beginning of the movie, the miners were seen wearing coveralls with reflective stripes, gloves, and eye protection while in the drilling process. However we noticed that while some wore the required footwear, some of the miners wore mere sneakers. This is of concern since sneakers cannot protect injury from occurring to the feet as a result of heavy falling objects in the mine, such as tonnes of gold. In addition, mine blasting and excessive noise generated by diesel-powered equipment can cause long lasting damage to the miner’s hearing. Earmuffs or earplugs were not always worn by the miners and this could have contributed to damaged ear drums or even hearing loss. Finally, the miners wore no dust masks or protective gear against the dust, taking into consideration the amount of floating dust in this type of environment. It was observed in the movie that when the miners were drilling for gold, there was a lot of dust and fine particles in the air. If dust masks were not used, over time the continuous inhalation of dust can cause the development of Miner’s Lung Disease or Sarcoidosis as mentioned in the movie. According to the OSH act of Trinidad and Tobago, all persons entering an area in an industrial organization where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury, injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury, shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard and adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or devices, and no person shall be permitted to be in any such area unless he is wearing such protective clothing or device. In order to mitigate the risk of injury from falling objects, contamination from the air and eardrum rupture, the mining company should take preventative care in ensuring that all miners wear the required protective gears at all time whilst on the job site; such as steel tipped boots, dusk masks and earplugs, in addition to the ones that are currently in use.


The 33 Miners in their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Fall Hazard

  • The miners were transported to the mine via an open back truck. However, there were no straps or seat belts in place to prevent the miners from falling off the truck while in motion. This could have resulted in severe injury or death if someone had fallen off since the truck was moving at a relatively fast speed. The solution to this hazard would be to ensure all workers are seated safely on their seats and are strapped on to the seat to prevent them from falling off the truck. Also running a bar across the back of the truck where the miners could hold on to would have also provided added leverage to prevent them from slipping and falling.

Men being transported at the back of the truck


  • When the mountain finally gave in and the mine started to crumble there were two miners standing at the edge of a cliff and during the intense shaking, one of the miners fell off the cliff. There was no fencing blocking an individual from falling off the cliff. In this light, protective barriers should have been placed blocking off workers from any cliffs or dangerous areas in the mine. Signs should be placed notifying employees or visitors of dangerous/high risk or prohibited areas. On the topic of signage, even though there were signs indicating the ‘km’ on the way up, there were no signs such as “sharp corner”, “cautions” etc. The mine lacked proper hazard signage.

Example of signage that should have been used in the Cliff area


Emergency Exit Hazard

The passage way into the tunnel is the next area of concern. As the mineworkers were being driven into the job site, it was noted by one of the workers that there was only one way in and out of the mine. This would be a major issue when there is an emergency, especially in the case of this event where the only way in and out was where the heart of the mountain broke and fell, trapping the miners inside. A ladder leading to the top of the mountain inside the mine did not go all the way up as the ladders were not completed. The owners neglected their responsibility to provide an emergency exit for their workers because they refused to spend the money to complete the structure of the ladder all the way up to the top of the mountain. It is the duty of any organization to ensure that exit strategies are put in place in cases of an emergency, as such another convenient entry/exit into the mine to allow the workers multiple choices of exits when evacuating during an emergency should have been created. Multiple emergency exits prevent overcrowding in the case of an emergency as all workers would not be scampering to one exit. It is in situations like this that workers get injured as they can be trampled by others in a hurry to exit.


“The only way in……The only way out,” said one of the miners


Negligence of the owners could have lead to Crush Hazard

  • Let us capture the safety negligence of the dialogue taken from the movie below.

Mine Supervisor: I found this on level 3 (places piece of glass on the owners desk).   We put this in the mountain cracks so we’ll know when the mountain shifts. A health check should be done on the ramp.

Owner: The ramp has about 20 years to go

Mine Supervisor: It’s my job to keep these men safe

Owner: Your other job is to keep these men pulling out 250 tonnes a day

Mine Supervisor: There is only so much gold in the mountain

Owner dismisses the supervisor and the conversation has ended without a suitable safety solution. According to the OSH Act the supervisor should have refused to work, thus protecting his workers from a crush hazard. The Act states: “An employee may refuse to work or do particular work where he has sufficient reason to believe that there is serious and imminent danger to himself or unusual circumstances have arisen which are hazardous or injurious to his health or life.” The employer should have evacuated the mine and proper research/inspection of the mountain shifting should have been done before resuming work in the mine.


Men trying to determine how far below they are and how the can get out of the mine….Unaware that a sinking rock was positioned above their heads

• A scene at the end of the movie showed the men setting off an explosive in order to clear a pathway for the drills to pass through, so that the men can be reached. This was an obvious hazard to the men as they could have been injured in the process by falling rocks or even the mountain caving in on them. The explosives caused the mountain to shift resulting in the rock which weighed approximately 7000 tonnes above where they were located to start sinking. It was only a matter of time before the rock fell which would have caused death to all the men as the rock was described as two times the size of the Empire State Building sitting above their head. However, even though unsafe, the men saw this act as a life or death situation as it was the only way of getting out. As said by a miner, “We are all ready to get out of here, or die trying.”


Environmental Hazard

When the miners reached the job site, it was noted that the temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and as they entered their holding areas, the temperature rose to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. This could lead to having a variety of negative effects on the employees such as heat stress, hypoxia, burns and anoxia. Heat stress could result in the mineworkers experiencing heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, rash and fatigue. To minimize these effects, the mining company should have installed proper ventilation, such as fans, throughout the workplace to help workers deal with the intensive heat and provide climate cool protective clothing for their workers. Air quality sensors should be put in place in order to detect irregular levels of Carbon Monoxide and other potentially toxic fumes, vapour and gases.


In order to prevent heat strokes, the miners stripped themselves of their PPE


Lighting Ergonomics Hazard

For general tunnelling operations, a minimum illumination intensity of 5 foot-candles is required, although 10 foot-candles must be provided for shaft heading during drilling. The mine displayed no evidence of such, as the area was poorly lit which could have caused difficulty in the miners being able to see during the drilling process. In addition, there was lack of communication systems in the mine. There were no telephones and other signalling devices used, such as radios, were not fully operational. It is critical to the company to ensure that these devices are operational in the event of an unexpected incident or accident.


Miner making his way through the min with nothing but a mere headlamp….In the background no kind of alternate lighting is seen


 Health and Safety Kit Hazard

In the movie, after the mine collapsed, the men went looking for medical supplies to treat their wounds. However, all they found was an empty first aid kit. This is a direct breach of the OSH Act which states that fully equipped first-aid boxes or cupboards should be provided and maintained so as to be readily accessible during all working hours and that each first-aid box or cupboard shall be under the control of responsible persons who are trained in first-aid treatment and retested every three years and who shall always be readily available during the working hours of the factory. To add to the plight, none of the miners were trained to use the first aid treatment even if it was fully equipped. This is a hazard to the welfare of the workers.


Overcrowd Hazard

After the collapse, the workers decided that the safest place to be was the refuge. This is where they would wait until hopefully rescue teams will be sent to their aid. However, there were 33 men trapped in the mine and the refuge was built for 30. This hazard can cause problems with space to fit everyone and also the supplies in the room would have been designed for 30 men in ideal situations. The Osh act suggests that an industrial establishment shall not be so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health of the persons employed therein and a notice specifying the number of persons who may, under the provisions of this section, be employed in that room should be posted. Given the circumstances, the miners were not given a choice but to all stay at the refuge. To eliminate the hazard of overcrowding the company should have made provisions to ensure that no more than thirty (30) men were on a job at the same time or make a larger refuge or a second refuge suitable to accommodate the amount of men.


Miner consoling another miner that everything is going to be OK….They will be home in their beds soon


Emergency Evacuation Plan and Procedures

When the mine collapsed, it was apparent that the men had no evacuation plan in place in the case of an emergency, as the men were seen scampering in all different directions. A muster point was absent. Periodic disaster evacuation drills and testing emergency communication and signalling system prepares workers on what to do if there’s an emergency, therefore the owners should have better prepared the men for evacuation in an emergency. The act spits out that all industries should have in place a suitable evacuation plan which the employees must be trained to follow protocols in case of an emergency. In addition, given the number of hours it took the rescue team to reach the site after the collapse it shows that the owners had no back up emergency plans for unforeseen emergencies such as this. As stated by the owner of the mine, “No protocols were put in place because he didn’t believe if something like that happened that anyone would survive.” The men were trapped in the mine from August 5th to October 13th, 69 days. It took the government’s intervention to get the men out of the mine. This was done using a capsule built that can fit a human. Under the circumstances the capsule was the only way to get the men out, however the men were 700 meters under, thus on the way up there were risks of the men losing oxygen, the shaft caving in or even getting stuck. To prevent loss of oxygen the rescue team could have provided oxygen masks for the miners. Another problem that occurred was the inability to communicate individually with the mine workers when they were in the capsule. This was evident in the movie when the rescue team lost communication via video feed with the first mine worker in the capsule. In order to avoid this problem they could have attached a microphone and/or ear piece to be used in the capable for speaking with each worker when they were in the process of coming up. By doing this, they would be able to guide the mine workers through the process and keep them calm since some of them suffered from various conditions such as heart diseases and kidney failure.

The “Pheonix” – Capsule used to transport the men out of the mine


Emergency Food and Water

In the movie, it was noted that assuming the men were alive there were only food and water to last three (3) days. As said by a miner upon the count of food remaining , there were only 18 cans of tuna left, that is 165 grams a can, 33 men, that’s 90 grams per man, one half (1/2) and a little more for the rest of their lives. The emergency food supply lacked the amount required to suit 33 men and there was only enough food to last them three (3) days. The owners should have ensured that there were proper supplies of food and proper drinking water to last at least months to be prepared for unforeseen emergencies such as this event.


The 33 men gathered around a table having the last of what’s left of the tuna


Anyone said: “Tuna Soup?” Man rationing one can of tuna a day


Psychological Hazard

The living conditions of the men for the two months trapped in the mine cause mental instability and hallucinations in some of the men. Stuck with only three (3) days food in a place described as being 100 degrees, like a tomb, the tragedy was a challenge to these men who made it out alive.


Miner on the left trying to comfort the miner on the right and prevent him from committing suicide



Mine managers and individual miners need to adhere strictly to operational safety procedures. Employers need to provide the right tools and training to every employee to protect life, health, and safety of the workforce, as well as to protect valuable worksites and assets.

Safety is an aspect that many individuals (Employees) do not pay particular attention towards, especially in the working physical environment. Workers are mainly concerned with completing tasks efficiently by doing so they completely disregard safety and risks involved. Educating the workforce about safety is very important however when it comes to the employees implementing the techniques, much more effort and initiative is needed.

This blog makes us all think of how many things we do wrongly in the eyes of safety and how many things we ignore but need to look out for in every environment that we are in. Remember “Safety First” Until next time….. OSHABOSSES

Wanna learn more about this event?????……. follow the link below

Article on the true event of The 33 Miners








11 thoughts on “OSHA Bosses Analyse Occupational Health and Safety Issues in the Movie “The 33”

  1. MGMT 6310

    I must commend the writer for the exquisite detail and the impeccable use of grammar throughout the blog. From my read, even though I have never seen the movie, the blogger has gone into such depth that I feel when I actually do watch the movie, the safety hazards and standard that must be kept will be more apparent to me. I also especially liked the use of pictures to portray a visual representation of where the miners work and the real nit and grit that miners have to deal with on a daily basis. It is also keen to note that the blogger included a link to the trailer of the movie, which I believe would give readers greater insight into understanding a bit of the movie before reading the blog, this is also commendable as it show the blogger’s great attention to detail and the fact that he/she is purposeful in giving the reader as much information as possible to have and idea of what exactly the blog is about.

    The main safety concerns I observed from the blog is the use of PPE, transportation to and from the mine, the living conditions of the miners and general and specific duties of each miner on a day to day basis. As I mentioned above, it is clear that the blogger has done a lot of research and has produced a very detail and well outlined blog. However, when it comes to the actual structure of the blog there is still work that needs to be done.

    There should be headings in either bold, italics or underlined to indicate to the reader what exactly is being discussed. This would’ve made the blog a lot more concise, clear and easier to reader if this was the case. For example, an easy format specifically for this blog could’ve been something as simple as, Introduction, Safety Hazards and Concerns, Safety Negligence and finally a Conclusion. Although there is the use of bullet points it would’ve much easier to determine when the reader transitions from one topic to another, rather than having a continuously flow where it is not certain whether the blogger is on the same point on has moved onto another point.

    I do commend the blogger for using pictures, however, there should’ve been more pictures related to the actual safety hazards the miners faced and also illustrations of safety negligence. The few pictures chosen by the blogger do not accurately paint in the readers mind the extreme living and work conditions that these miners go through, we simply get a fragment if we focus on the pictures alone. There should’ve been more pictures of the miners actually inside the mine, I believe this would’ve appealed to the sensitive side of the reader and fully envelope them in the blog.

    Overall, the blog was very well done. I think it is important to note as the blogger mentioned, in such risky jobs there can never be total preparation in the event of an accident. Especially in mining where the danger can be very unpredictable, it is the job of the employers to ensure that all safety conditions are met to ensure the best possible outcome, and even when all safety conditions are met the is still the possibility for casualties and in some instances fatalities due to the very nature of these jobs. It is also clear to see after reading this blog, that safety is very much under looked and often very much people turn a blind eye to it simply because it may incur more costs to implement safety standards and cut into their revenue/profits, which to me is quite despicable. The reason I find it despicable is because there is no value you can place on a life. All in all I give this blog a thumbs up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mr. De Graff,

      Firstly, we would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read our blog on The 33. Your positive comments have motivated us all to become expert bloggers and to continue to aspire to achieve the objectives set out in this assignment. We have noted your recommendations and thought it was of great value, thus we edited our blog and updated it to capture our readers attention. We would like f you can revisit our blog with the new additions and changes and give us your insight. Once again, thank you and hope you keep following us….
      Kind Regards,
      OSHA Bosses


  2. Reshma Jagarnath (814000602)
    MGMT 6310

    After reading this blog article, I must comment on the clarity and excellent evaluation and analysis that were done. I must say it was indeed very informative and gave insight to a reader like myself who has never seen the movie before. At the very beginning of the article the blogger used imagery and a brief introduction as well a trailer to sensitize or give awareness to the audience basically on what the blog is about. Thus appealing and preparing the minds of the readers whilst capturing their interest on the topic. This was indeed a very good technique to capture an audience and potential readers. This blog talked focused on the health and safety issues in relation to workers trapped inside a mine specifically thirty-three (33) workers and the conditions they faced etc. Thus, referencing from the movie, “The 33.”

    The use of pictures did paint a clearer picture in the minds of the readers, it allowed the readers to see for themselves the situations the workers were placed in as well as the hazardous conditions they were exposed to from the movie. As it is said a picture is worth a thousand words, thus a picture can tell a story just as well as written words. This served as support and evidence as well concerning this mining disaster that occurred.

    It is evident that one can learn a lot from this article. The content is very rich, easily understood and it explains everything in great detail. In identifying the safety risks the blogger did provide possible suggestions in order to mitigate the risks as well, which gave variety to the content. A good strategy was linking the information and issues with regards to the OSH act therefore imparting new knowledge as well concerning violations of the OSH act. It also allowed the readers to be exposed to a link, in terms of properly structuring and linking the information in a manner that could be understood by many from the beginning of the movie to the end. There was a continuous flow of the information.

    This article gave sufficient information on the different types of safety hazards that the workers faced at the mine. It emphasized a lot on safety and the things we take for granted concerning it. It also gives us as reader’s insight into safety risks that can exist at the jobsite, in this case at the mine. I must say by using a movie it made the article much more interesting and the blogger was able to bring across the points clearly. The use of pictures aided in visualizing as well as presentation. The dialogue between the owner and mine supervisor also made the research, much more valid and empirically strengthened the research. This article was indeed captivating as I was very much drawn into reading, which is very important capturing reader interest.

    However, I do think for each bullet point a picture should have been provided to add to the continuous flow and explanations of certain points. Therefore more pictures could have been used as well as more headings to guide the reader, in terms of adding to the structure. Overall great job on this blog article.


    • Dear Ms. Jagarnath,
      Firstly, I would like to thank you for your views on our blog. Your positive remarks have truly motivated us and we are taking into consideration everything that you have said. We are pleased that you gained a good understanding of the movie and the health and safety hazards that the miners were faced with, as this was our goal. We appreciate your views on adding more pictures and headings to the blog to enhance it and will certainly take this into consideration. Thank you again for your views.
      Kind Regards,
      OSHA Bosses.


  3. Renee Pierre (813000658)
    MGMT 6310

    I must admit that this article was well written and was very interesting. I never saw the movie referred to but I got a good understanding based on the writer’s descriptions. The sad reality is that so many of these hazards identified, could’ve been remedied but the company was too profit driven and did not seem to value the lives or safety of the workers.

    One of the first questions that came to mind while reading was whether or not there was safety protocols or demonstrations of what to do in the event of an emergency like this. I was pleased to see that this was addressed later in the blog. I agree with the writer when it was stated that, “ The act spits out that all industries should have in place a suitable evacuation plan which the employees must be trained to follow protocols in case of an emergency.” This could’ve made a bad situation easier to handle and mitigate the effects.

    It was mentioned that the temperatures faced by the workers were very extreme and could’ve compromised the health and safety of the workers. Based on the picture of the trapped workers, it could’ve been mentioned that all workers could’ve been provided with proper clothing. This would’ve ensured that air circulated over the skin and allowed heat and sweat to evaporate. The workers should’ve also been permitted alternating water breaks, allowing them to hydrate and cool off.

    With regards to the cliff and the two workers who were working near it, they should’ve been attached by a rope mechanism which was properly grounded. In the event that one of them did fall off (which occurred), the other workers would’ve been able to pull them back up. Miners should’ve also been given a briefing on how to deal with minor injuries and wounds, in addition to the first aid kits being properly stocked.

    This article was very informative and identified many hazards, as well as, solutions to these problems. I especially liked the solution where the writer says that the company should have not allowed more than thirty workers in the mine at a time. The same thought came to me while I was reading the point where the refuge was built for only thirty persons.

    The writer’s last hazard identified, where the explosives were set off and this could’ve caused further damage as there was a chance that debris may have fallen on the workers or the whole mine could’ve caved in. I agree this was a hazard but it could be viewed as a ‘do or die’ situation. The rescuers had little time to save the workers and they probably had limited or no other alternative solutions. This shows us that sometimes we may be aware of a hazardous outcome but we may have to take the risk when we have no other choice. However, we must take caution and avoid these types of actions if possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ms. Pierre,

      Firstly, we would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read our blog on The 33. We were happy to see that even though you never saw the movie, it was easily understood, meaning we have accomplished one of the objectives we were striving for. We have noted your recommendation where you stated, “The writer’s last hazard identified, where the explosives were set off and this could’ve caused further damage as there was a chance that debris may have fallen on the workers or the whole mine could’ve caved in. I agree this was a hazard but it could be viewed as a ‘do or die’ situation.” We have updated our blog to include such, as we took the opportunity to revisit the movie and saw a scene where a miner said, “We are all ready to get out of here, or die trying” therefore it was in fact a ‘do or die’ situation. Once again, thank you and hope you keep following us….

      Kind Regards,
      OSHA Bosses


  4. After reading this blog I feel like I’ve actually watched the movie. I enjoyed your descriptive commentary and the pictures that accompanied it which enhanced your points. A good attempt was made with respect to the sequential flow of your ideas as you identified the health and safety issues in line with the plot progression.

    On the other hand, it could have been made a little more entertaining to read. Don’t get me wrong, the content was good as you identified the issues and proposed solutions, but it was chunked together in long paragraphs that can lose a reader’s attention easily. The inclusion of some more rhetorical questions or section headings would have been nice, instead of a plain old bullet point. You did do a good job at referencing the OSH Act in your analysis. I would have liked to see a little more reference to literature to further develop your content.

    Overall, your blog was good but needs a little more flair if you want to attract more readers.
    – Sunita N. (813001173)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ms. Sunita N,
      We as a group would like to highlight our deepest gratitude to you for your honest opinions towards our post. Your comments were quite neutral and will be scrutinized as it will be taken into deep consideration as we will be making significant changes in order to captivate you, the reader by utilizing a myriad of techniques such as those recommended by yourself.
      Kind regards,
      OSHA Bosses


  5. Dear Ms. Sunita,

    Firstly, we would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read our blog on The 33. Your comments were quit e neutral and will be taken into consideration for our future posts. However, we have noticed that while we were upgrading our blog to make it more user- friendly we received notification of your comment, as such we would appreciate it if you can revisit our blog and give any suitable feedback, as some of your recommended changes were made in the process. We appreciate and welcome all feedback that can enhance our blogging skills. Once again, thank you and hope you keep following us.

    Kind Regards,
    OSHA Bosses


  6. This is an extremely insightful article and I must commend the techniques used by the writer in bringing this trailer to life. The vocabulary was very appropriate and the order of events very detailed. It was to the extent where I could imagine not only the trailer but beyond that and the actual unfortunate event itself.

    The writer also was very emotive in his descriptions and smoothly incorporated the solutions to the problems which were well identified. The writer’s knowledge on the subject area was greatly manifested in the references. The writer did not shy away from expressing his opinions on events and was evidenced in such cases where the mine owners were labeled as negligent. The writer also shed light on many issues such as the right of a worker to not work in conditions which are deemed unfit or hazardous and it is a bit of knowledge which I found extremely useful in such a capitalist world where labour is often exploited and workers left to feel like they have no choice but to abide by orders simply so that they can earn a dollar.

    The writer also walks you along the journey and invokes many different emotions in the reader from curiosity, to hope, to despair. The vast amount of problems identified in this however was appalling. It led to beg the question of if there was actually any standard which the mine owners actually abided by. I must also commend the structure of the article. The sub headings were very useful and also very appropriate. The paragraphs were relevant to the headings which preceded them and this made it very helpful to follow the events of a subject which many readers would have no prior knowledge about.

    Finally, the pictures complemented the story line perfectly. The article was successful in highlighting the important of safety in the working environment as it showed how this ordeal got more intense as time passed while simultaneously showing how it could have easily been avoided each step of the way. Kudos to the writer on this insightful blog article.

    MGMT 6310


    • Dear Mr. Yenver Caezar,
      We would first like to say that we appreciate your positive feedback on our blog. We thank you for taking time out of your busy day to express your opinion and we are pleased that you gained a full understanding of the movie and the unfortunate events that occurred based on our blog. Thank you again for your feedback.
      Kind Regards,
      OSHA Bosses


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