Who is Luis Urzua? He was the shift foreman and the last miner to be freed from the San Jose mine in Chile. From all accounts he is one heck of a Supervisor!
Imagine what he faced: 32 members of his team trapped over 2000 feet below the surface. Food rations for 2 days and no reason to believe that he and his crew could be rescued.
What Mr. Urzua demonstrated is that it is possible, despite horrific conditions and fear, for a well trained Supervisor to create a sense of team and over come challenges most of us will never know. His enforcement of rules and rationing of supplies along with his determination and ability to strengthen the spirit of his crew led to the successful outcome we witnessed on TV.
Now most of our businesses won't face these conditions or challenges the lessons of team work, safety and how to manage a crisis are important regardless of the industry.
Supervisors like Luis Urzua play an incredibly important role in reducing the number, cost and duration of employee injuries. I am almost certain that facing the same set of circumstances a Supervisor that did not have the respect of his team or the knowledge of Mr. Urzua would have had a very different outcome.
What training programs does your business have for your front line Supervisor?