What does the term "Green" mean?

A person that is labelled "Green" on a mine site is someone with no experience at all, that needs to be taught and watched constantly. People who are Green are viewed as a liability to the mining crew until they are bought up to speed.

Ideally, the company and supervisors like people to be out of their Green phase within 2-4 weeks. Very few people find their mining legs, so to speak in this time with most taking between 4-12 weeks to find their feet. This is one of the major reasons why 3 out of every 5 new starters are gone from the industry within their first 6 months.

Don’t kid yourself, if you can’t get up to speed in time or you keep making basic mistakes you will end up getting a “window seat on the next plane out” (the mining term used for the sack). Mines are big business, each turning over 100’s of millions of dollars a year so they need their employees to perform and those that can’t are let go. Getting the job is only half the battle, once on site the new starter needs to get up to speed ASAP so they don’t let themselves or their crew down.

It is not unusual for some mines to turn over 50% of their staff in a 12 month period. As Shift Bosses we have all worked on these sites, there is a story of one site in the middle of the desert, which turned over 300 people in 12 months out of a workforce of 160. That works out to being over 150% turn over, apparently it was a very long hot summer.

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