Greg Glennon – Operations Manager, Otraco International Pty Ltd
ABSTRACTTyres are pressure vessels, potentially containing several hundred tonnes of force, and they are continuously exposed to operational damage. The risk of a fatality during a tyre maintenance activity on an Australian mine site is in the order of ten times higher than that for a non-tyre related vehicle maintenance event. In 2015/2016, Otraco International performed an extensive review of tyre maintenance related fatalities and life threatening injuries in the mining industry worldwide, their causes and the controls that need to be implemented to eliminate them. The review was used as the foundation for the Otraco Critical Control Program (CCP), an integral part of our Risk Management process and has since been implemented across our Australian and international projects. Our CCP is supported by tyre related bowtie risk reviews which assisted with the identification of critical controls and mapped the level of interface with other operational and safety programs to build resilience. Otraco has learned that there is no “silver bullet’ for managing critical risks, they require total integration of safety, quality and operational roles, empowering workers to be part of the solution. Through ‘ground up’ solutions development supported, promoted and made visible by all levels of management, our controls that are seen as practical and are applied every day.
Keith Haley – General Manager, Saraji Mine, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance
ABSTRACTAre some people born to take more risk and others born to play it safe? Does a race car driver have a different genetic makeup from a librarian? Do miners in general have a different brain and risk tolerance from the population as a whole? Induction into the mining industry requires companies teach workers about Risk. In fact, the entire act is devoted to understanding and managing risk, “Shall not expose coal mine workers to an unacceptable level of risk.” Typically, teaching risk assessment during induction is a very academic exercise. Risk assessment training is presented from the textbook perspective and explains probability and consequence of an event. The general population does not understand the academic side of risk assessment and they do not use “safety terms” to talk about risk. Companies use induction training to start teaching the safety hierarchy of controls to mitigate risk. These are great concepts, but for most workers they are new words and terms. This education is important; it gives the industry a common language and allows us all to communicate and understand risk better. This presentation is the precursor to the intellectual process described above. This presentation helps others understand what needs to be unlearned. When teaching co-workers about risk, understanding what they already know is critical. Induction training should consider helping people unlearn what they think is innate. This presentation will demonstrate one perspective on where risk acceptance develops, how deeply entrenched risk tolerance is in each of us, and where and why risk-taking habits form.
Anthony Masciangioli – Director and Principal Consultant Darren Head, Principal Consultant, Riskcom Pty Ltd
ABSTRACTRisk can often be seen as a disparate set of problems that seem to be unrelated and can result in Boards, Executives and Senior Managers being overwhelmed and exposed as the business struggles to address its issues across many competing priorities. So how do we manage this? We must first identify and understand the critical risks the business is exposed to. The concept of risk lends itself to the Pareto principle, that is; 80% of a business’ risk profile is related to 20% of its risks (i.e. the critical few). Given this, it is appropriate for a business to focus on the ‘critical few’ rather than the ‘trivial many’ and to drill down deep into the causal pathway of the ‘critical few’. The aim of this is to ensure that effective controls are available to be implemented when required. We must then understand the organisation’s (including the Boards, Executives and Senior Managers) appetite for managing these ‘critical few’ risks. The appetite for managing these ‘critical few’ risks is a function of the organisation’s culture and we must understand what motivates (or demotivates) the Board, Executive, Senior Managers and employees to implement (or not) the relevant management system requirements including activation of the critical controls when required. When we truly understand what motivates people to manage the ‘critical few’ risks and we hold people accountable for the availability and effectiveness of the controls, then and only then will we have a culture that will enable a business to mitigate/manage its risk profile and optimise its business performance. In this session, we will reflect on several case studies to support these contentions and provide evidence of this approach.
Associate Professor Carole James – Associate Director, Centre for Resources Health and Safety, The University of Newcastle
ABSTRACTObesity is a major problem in Australia, with over 70% of Australian’s being overweight or obese. Rates of obesity in NSW coal miners are significantly worse (83.4%). Workers who are obese have higher rates of absenteeism, reduced productivity, increased injury and illness, slower recovery rates and increased workers’ compensation costs. Building on from the Blueprint for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in the NSW Mining Industry, the healthy weight initiative – RESHAPE – was developed. . RESHAPE is an intervention framework based upon the World Health Organization’s Healthy Workplace Model and provides a worksite framework, with coordinated actions, that aim to contribute to a site and industry-wide change in the prevention and management of overweight and obesity. Findings from a current study that is investigating what obesity management programs have been trialled within the coal industry, the outcomes of these at a site level and information on the challenges and benefits of these programs, will be presented. These findings will provide industry with insight into the next steps which can be considered for the prevention and management of overweight and obesity as a critical part of the industry’s overall focus on the general health of its employees.
Julia Mansfield – Health Coordinator, Glencore, Ernest Henry Mine
ABSTRACTStatistics show that almost half of Australians will experience a diganosable mental health condition at some time in their lives. While these conditions can potentially impact a workers safety, productivity, health, and return to work duration; there is also a well-documented link with suicide. Alarmingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 25-44; and research indicates that men in semi-skilled occupations like mining are indeed at an even greater risk. Ernest Henry Mine acknowledges the prevalence of mental health issues, with management support numerous site-based initiatives were implemented to assist workers with this emerging and complex trend. The program has been successful in raising awareness about Mental Health and Wellbeing; enhancing accessibility to appropriate help/support; improving the village/camp lifestyle; promoting engagement; and facilitating a more positive work environment. While these mental health initiatives are a step in the right direction, ongoing effort is required to reduce stigma and to provide an environment that is both protective to the development of mental health conditions and conducive to recovery. It is hoped that other mining operations can draw learnings from Ernest Henry Mine’s initiatives.
Michael Stubley – Principal Consultant – Rapid Response Geri Morrell – Client Manager – Resources Sector and Regional Queensland, Converge International
ABSTRACTEvidence-based reviews have concluded that ‘debriefing’, also known as The Mitchell Model has little effect, or that it actually worsens the trauma symptoms. Yet, many sites, often unknowingly, are still using this model. This presentation will discuss what Psychological First Aid is (and isn’t), and how Leaders can effectively apply it to ensure that their people are supported in the immediate aftermath of a Critical Incident.
Heidi Roberts – Executive Director, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
ABSTRACTIn 2015 Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis was re-identified in Queensland Coal mine workers. Since then, the department, coal mine companies and worker representative groups have been working together to reform the Coal Mine Worker’s Health Scheme and protect worker health. There have been a number of important learnings along the way and this paper will present a summary of the journey over the past two years to create a better health scheme for coal mine workers, and areas where these learnings can be leveraged in the future.
Lionel Smith – Regional Inspector of Mines, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
ABSTRACTThe mining industry provides a lot of information to the Mines Inspectorate associated with safety and health matters at mines and quarries. While the inspectorate may be the holder of this information, it is available to industry to assist in analysis if matters that may be plaguing their mine. By using industry data that has been provided a deep dive into electrical fires on mobile equipment will be examined to highlight where there are common issues that contribute to the development of a fire and then contribute to the sustainability of a fire. Recommendations from the data will be extracted to allow mines and more importantly, Original Equipment Manufacturers and third part equipment modifiers, to allow design consideration to reduce the number of mobile equipment fires and financial loss to a mine.
Steve Hedges – SVP Operations David Champion – Safety Manager, Millennium Mine, Peabody
ABSTRACTIn early 2016, with Millennium Mine nearing the end of its planned mine life, the site took on a new challenge – to use auger mining to maximise resource recovery by endeavouring to win coal from two final highwall positions. The team set about engaging a specialist auger mining contractor who had worked in Queensland for a number of years. The contractor had a system of work in place based on experience gained in both the United States (US) and Australia. However, the previous research relating to the effectiveness of the controls was conducted in the US in the early 1990’s. The absence of a real time gas monitoring system on the auger led the Queensland Coal Mines Inspectorate to issue a (S169) directive to suspend augur operations at Millennium pending resolution of a range of concerns relating to the risk assessment, standard operating procedure (SOP) and work instructions. The directive was extremely broad and difficult to achieve. Over the next six weeks the Mine set about developing a detailed revision of the risk assessment and SOP. However, with no baseline data, the project lacked the defined processes to verify and confirm the existing controls. The Operation was therefore unable to restart. In May 2016 the Mine sought a review of the directive by the Chief Inspector. Ultimately this led to a revised directive (S166). The use of this revised regulatory approach allowed for: • Verification of the risk assessment controls; • Development of a series of new systems of work to be tested; • New controls to be proven through a framework of research and development of the mining system. A series of test and verification programmes was developed using risk assessment techniques that involved technical experts from various specialist fields. This then allowed the project to develop in stages and to progressively deliver an ‘acceptable’ level of risk based on proven methods of control. At each stage a plan was developed, submitted and reviewed with the regulator with a subsequent update of the section 166 directive. The results were then further reviewed with the regulator as part of defining the next steps. Success was achieved by the regulator, Mine operator and the contractor working closely to develop a series of best practice controls using the latest available technology, underpinned by fundamental risk management practises. In March 2018 the final directive was closed.
Nikky LaBranche – Principal Mining Engineer, Simtars
ABSTRACTSince the first case of CWP in over twenty years was reported in Queensland in 2015 there have been 66 confirmed cases of mine dust lung disease among current and former QLD mine workers. As a result ACARP commissioned research into a number of questions relating to monitoring and controlling coal dust exposure. The project had a number of aims which include the following areas: 1) establishing the state of the art with respect to current dust suppression and prevention controls and their effectiveness. 2) Reviewing the basis used for setting an exposure standard for respirable coal dust 3) The current trends in exposure data and any underlying points of concern or interest 4) current research into reducing exposure to respirable coal dust. 5) The capacity to monitor respirable coal dust in real time – what techniques are available and what are their limitations and 6) Future directions for research into better control of respirable coal dust exposure. The research seeks to answer these questions and better define the next questions for future research. This paper will present the progress results of the Improving Respirable Coal Dust Exposure monitoring and Control research project.
Fritz Djukic – Inspector of Mines (Occupational Hygiene), Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy
ABSTRACTIn May 2015 the first confirmed case of mine dust lung disease (MDLD) in the Queensland Coal industry in over 30 years was reported to the mines inspectorate. A number of cases followed that typically related to underground coal mine workers with extensive exposure history in Queensland, interstate and abroad. In October 2016 the first surface coal mine worker was confirmed with MDLD proving this hazard was not isolated to underground mines. The reidentification of MDLD in Queensland prompted several extensive reviews of the health surveillance system and the respirable dust regulations. This resulted in significant regulatory reforms around exposure monitoring, reporting requirements and the establishment of a central exposure data base. In January 2018 the Chief Inspector of Coal Mines requested all surface coal operations to provide personal exposure monitoring data collected since the introduction of the risk based legislation. This paper reviews exposure data collected from Queensland surface coal mines and wash plants during the period 2001 – 2017. Specifically the paper discusses: • Mean exposure trends across various similar exposure groups for respirable coal dust and respirable crystalline silica (RCS) • Personal monitoring programmes and sampling rates • High dust exposure tasks and single exceedance data In addition, the study draws comparison with exposure data collected from Queensland coal mines during the eighties (80’s).
Worland – Approaches to Control Worker Dust Exposure During Maintenance Activities Where Compressed Air is Used to “Clean” Equipment
Simon Worland – Occupational Hygienist
ABSTRACTUse of compressed air to blow out or “clean” electrical cabinets is a routine maintenance task across the Queensland Coal Industry. Elevated levels of harmful dust can engulf the blow out operator for extended periods and increase the risk of developing lung diseases including Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis and silicosis. In 2017 the Queensland Mines Inspectorate reported that approximately 50% of all respirable dust and Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exceedances in surface coal mines was directly related to the use of compressed air for cleaning down enclosures and equipment during maintenance activities. Respiratory protection has historically been viewed as the primary control to protect the health of blow out operators as dust controls at the engineering level or above have not been considered to be feasible. Blow out of electrical cabinets on Komatsu 960E haul trucks have been targeted for an engineering dust control project at Hail Creek Mine. The project has focussed on the following areas: • Sealing of cabinets • Application of positive pressure • Local exhaust ventilation / vacuuming • Identification of alternative cleaning methods • Measurement of control performance This paper describes the dust control project along future direction for application of common principles to other equipment such as draglines and excavators.
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