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98 Life expectancy at an open pit coal mine in colombia
  1. Jaime Huertas1,
  2. H Piedrahita2
  1. 1PhD, Professor Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  2. 2PhD, Occupational Health Division Head – Carbones del Cerrejón, Limited – Colombia


Introduction Several studies have shown that life expectancy of miners in underground mines is greatly reduced. The complex working conditions to which they are subjected and the associated social conditions explain this reduction. However, few studies have come forward to show whether life expectancy is also reduced in miners working in open pit mining. This study aims to determine the life expectancy of miners who have worked in an open pit coal mine in Colombia.

Methods 15 153 people who worked at the Mine from 1982 to 2015 were included in the study: 6133 were active and 9040 had retired. The applied statistical methods estimate the survival function based on mortality tables and the Kaplan-Meier estimator. It also contains inference methods and an adjusted Cox regression model (1972) to determine some explanatory factors for mortality at La Mina.

Result Compared with the risk of dying by means of a log-rank test among those who have worked in the mine against the risk of people from other parts in the country and from the area of influence of the mine, it has been found that they are significantly different (p-val <0.001). The direction of this difference indicates that life expectancy for workers who have worked in this mine is greater than that of their zone of influence and that of the country.

Discussion The possible explanations for the higher life expectancy in these workers may be associated with the living conditions that they have access to due to high salary levels and the occupational control measures established in the company. The longevity characteristic of adult inhabitants of the region where this mine operates also contributes to higher life expectancy found in these workers.

  • Life expectancy
  • open pit coal mine

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