Damir Vagaja, Principal Traffic Safety Consultant, RTSM Consulting
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Bongers – Fatigue Monitoring in Queensland Coal: Case Study
Dr. Daniel Bongers Chief Technology Officer, SmartCap Technologies Operator fatigue monitoring has been embraced in mining operations worldwide, with one glaring exception – Queensland Coal Operations. Why? Legislation requires workforce consent when introducing any initiative that the incorporates a criteria of assessment of a coal mine worker’s fitness for duty. This presentation will detail an early 2019, two-site initiative to navigate this process, with a particular focus on workforce engagement, the communication process, consultation with workforce representation, concerns, challenges, and results.
Krasny – The State of Fatigue in the Mining Industry – Analysing Fatigue Data Across Australia, the United States, South America and Africa
Jenny Krasny Senior Customer Safety & Fatigue Consultant, Caterpillar Inc.- Caterpillar Safety Services Sleep deprivation, abnormal sleeping patterns, long commute times, and highly repetitive, sustained and monotonous tasks are common predictors of fatigue across the mining industry. Fatigue is a reality that our industry faces, and while all would agree that it is a critical risk that must be managed, understanding the severity of that risk and developing the associated controls has been a challenge… until recently. Using wearable devices, the condition of our operators, employees and managers can be assessed easily and accurately, enabling solutions for fatigue mitigation and management to come to the fore. The dilemma, however, is that solutions developed for one operation do not always apply to other operations due to the unique differences in rosters, sleeping conditions, commute times and a multitude of other variables. Having worked across four continents, supporting various mining operations identify, mitigate and manage their fatigue risk, Jenny Krasny will present to you not only the state of fatigue in our industry, but also some of the unique and innovative solutions customers are adopting to manage fatigue risk.
Haylock – Workforce Education and Training Cut–Through
Bill Haylock Director, Green Ticket All mine sites have two things in common—workers and risks. Their workforce, the company’s biggest asset, need to be trained efficiently and effectively on hazards’, risks’ and incidents’ management. Mine site workers handle highstakes machinery and dangerous substances in high-risk settings. The success of risk procedures for a company depends on how well workers understand, accept, and implement these procedures. Without appropriate knowledge and specific tools workers are at high risk of impacting their safety and health, while also undoing corporate compliance measures implemented by management. To mitigate this, we need cost-effective and time-efficient tools. We need targeted, pertinent, specialised training. This raises questions about what tools contractors need to do the job and how these tools can effectively and efficiently be created and delivered. Questions to address:
- What is the decision-making process undertaken to create a targeted, pertinent, specialised training program?
- What is the problem?
- Who is at risk?
- What are the regulations?
- Who is the target?
- What are the methods of delivery and desirable frequency?
- What locations?
- What are the workers’ levels of literacy?
- And most importantly, what decision-making processes help to answer these questions and get cut-through to the workers?
Mackay – Digitalisation: Information at Our Employees’ Fingertips
Larnie Mackay Operations Scheduler, Anglo American-Moranbah North Mine Anglo American has introduced Australia’s first certified, electronic tablet device for use in underground coal mines. The device provides real-time access to CITECT data for Hazard Awareness and system monitoring, as well as Anglo American’s latest Safety and Health Management processes and documentation. Developed in collaboration with a tablet manufacturer, the device was developed and tested to achieve International Group 1 Certification together with Queensland Government’s SIMTARS safety in mines certification. The underground tablet can be used as a portable video communication device (via Skype) to instantly access expert technical advice. Not only does this accelerate operational fault-finding, it also allows a live video link to paramedics in the case of an emergency. The tablet allows real-time environmental monitoring; provides up-to-date equipment resetting requirements; displays risk-categorised Strata Defect locations pictorially on the Mine Plan; and allows short interval control on the actual plan. The introduction of the tablet is a major step towards the removal of all underground paperwork and the electronic lodgement of statutory and production reports.
Schneider – Managing Reported Chronic Occupational Lung Disorders
Assoc. Prof. John Schneider Occupational Physician, James Cook University, Mackay Clinical Campus Increasing awareness of workplace dust exposure due to media reporting of pneumoconioses such as “black lung” and silicosis, has resulted in increased health surveillance, radiological investigation and notification of possible work related lung disorders. The most common chronic lung condition associated with significant occupational dust exposure however, are not the pneumoconiosis. Subsequent decisions associated with the workers continuing employment can pose problems in both human resource and occupational health supervision and management. The reporting of changes in pulmonary imaging do not necessarily need to result in departure from the industry. With comprehensive medical management including Pulmonary Rehabilitation if necessary, and coordinated Pulmonary Protection programs involving both the workplace and treating medical practitioner many workers can continue to work productively within the industry until retirement.</p . The presentation will consider managing the health and workplace risks associated with continued employment of workers reported with positive health surveillance findings, including:-
- Work Related Lung Disorders
- Current dilemmas in employment management
- Interpretation and significance of medical reports
- Assessment and importance of lung function
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- Fitness for Work
- Occupational Rehabilitation
- Pulmonary Protection Programs
- Risk management
- Control of hazardous work exposures
- Medical involvement in health management
McBean – A Clinical, Radiological and Occupational Review of Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease in Queensland
Dr Rhiannon McBean, Research Coordinator, The Wesley Dust Disease Research Centre Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease (CMDLD) is a term for of all lung diseases caused by inhalation of coal mine dust. CMDLD includes pneumoconiosis; coal workers’ and mixed dust pneumoconiosis (CWP; MDP) and silicosis, as well as inflammatory-type diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). CMDLD was undetected in the Queensland coal industry from 1984 to 2015. We aimed to understand the spectrum and severity of disease in recently diagnosed CMDLD cases (n= 79) by reviewing medical imaging, charts, lung function and occupational history. CMDLD pneumoconioses were diagnosed in 71% of cases; CWP was most common (34%). Advanced disease was observed on medical imaging for 24% of subjects. Lung function results were equally split, 47.2% normal and 52.7% abnormal. On average, the tenure in coal mining was 26 years (range 6-45). The majority of subjects (44%) had only worked in underground coal mines. Surprisingly, 27% of subjects reported to have never worked in an underground coal mine. We observed a diverse spectrum of diagnoses and severity ranged from mild to severe. Occupational history in terms of tenure and mine type varied across the subject group. It is hoped these findings will boost awareness of CMDLD
Barr/Melkersson – Lung Disease Screening in Queensland Coal Mining
Dean Barr A/Director, Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme Kerri Melkersson Director, Health Surveillance Unit, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Since the re-identification of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland in 2015, and reforms resultant from the Monash and UIC independent expert review of 2016, the department has implemented improved screening methods for the detection of respiratory disease in coal mine workers. As at March 2019, more than 30,000 chest x-rays have been dual read to International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, resulting in 99% returning a negative result for disease. Of the 1.0% which screened positive, 15 have resulted in a diagnosis of disease.</p . The department receives reports of cases of mine dust lung disease (MDLD) through a number of pathways; doctors, mine operators and the workers’ compensation scheme all provide confirmation of diagnoses within the mining and quarrying sectors. As at March 2019, 99 cases of MDLD have been reported across all sectors since 1984 (89 since 2015). Separate to the reforms implemented in the mining regulatory framework, the Queensland Parliament is considering a Bill to establish a Notifiable Dust Lung Diseases Register to be administered by Queensland Health. This will provide a further mechanism to ensure the incidence of disease is understood. This paper provides an overview of the current screening pathways to detect MDLD in Queensland mine workers.
Tynan – Health-e Mines: Virtual Health System to Improve Mental Health
Dr Ross Tynan Research Lead, Everymind Supporting a healthy workforce has a range of potential benefits: improved employee performance and morale, improved safety, cost benefits, and broader social benefits to employees, their families and community. Achieving such gains requires timely and early access to effective options for providing health in a form that is tailored to the target population and the Industry more broadly. While health screening has been introduced in some sectors of the Coal Industry, innovative, accessible treatment options that wrap around available workplace health care options are needed. This paper reports on the development and evaluation of a proposed solution; an online portal (‘Health-e Mines’) that provides a direct, real-time link between coal mining employees and the latest evidence based online screening, early intervention, and treatment programs for enhancing mental and physical health. Since January 2018, there have been 817 Health-e Mines site users. This has translated into 1,485 sessions by coal miners visiting the website, who have viewed, on average, two pages per session. The majority of visitors are accessing the site on Sundays at 4am, Mondays 12-3pm, and Wednesday 6-11am. Evaluation data on facilitators and barriers to use of Health-e Mines will also be reported.
Tynan/Rogers – Mental Health, Drug Use and Fatigue – Managing the Dangerous Synergy with an Integrated FFW Program
Dr. Philip Tynan National Toxicologist, Safe Work Laboratories Dr. Naomi Rogers Sleep and Fatigue Specialist, Naomi Rogers Fatigue Despite longstanding industry attention to worksite safety, Safe Work Australia reported a 51% rise in serious injury claims in the mining sector from 2000 to 2014. There is a dangerous self-reinforcing relationship between workplace accidents and mental health, drug use and fatigue, which was highlighted by the recent ‘Mental Health and the NSW Mineral Industry’ report commissioned by the NSW Minerals Council which estimated that in any 12-month period between 8,000 and 10,000 NSW mine workers experienced mental illness and around 2,000 experienced a substance use disorder. The use of drugs, including alcohol, has a disproportionately large impact on workplace safety. Altered memory, impaired coordination and poor concentration may delay reaction times and increase the risk of accident and injury –not just to themselves, but to their co-workers – especially when coupled with fatigue. Raising awareness of the symptoms of these underlying conditions, and the synergistic effects of drugs and fatigue in worsening mental health – primarily through educational Fit-for-Work programs tailored to the needs of each particular industry and robust workplace drug-testing programs – has been shown in Australian and overseas studies to significantly reduce workplace accident rates by fostering the development and maintenance of zero tolerance safe workplace cultures.
Allen – Safety Norms Predict Reported Risk- Taking Among Australian Coal Miners: An Exploratory Longitudinal Analysis
Dr. Rebecca Allen Researcher, School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle Coal mining has been internationally recognised as a high-risk industry with high fatality rates in comparison to other occupations. Within the Australian coal mining industry, the level of occupational risk has been identified as 70% higher than the national average. The present study undertook an exploratory investigation of the causes of risk-taking among Australian coal miners. The study is the first to use a longitudinal approach to investigate the association between safety culture and risk-taking among Australian coal miners. This approach allows clearer conclusions about the causal relations between variables. Data was collected via repeat survey from a sample of 233 open-cut and underground coal miners from New South Wales and Queensland. Perceived safety norms were found to be a significant longitudinal predictor of reported frequency of risk-taking. Miners who perceived it to be normal for miners at their mine site to ignore safety procedures and take risks were more likely to report taking safety risks in the future. This finding suggests that poor safety norms cause subsequent increases in risk-taking behaviour. Safety interventions are considered, focusing on improving perceived safety norms to potentially reduce risk-taking.