OHS interviews in mining
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MSH_G__AccidentIncidentReporting.pdf

The guidelines for accident and incident reporting state the responsibilities of employers and employees and give advice on how to effectively report accidents and incidents in the workplace.
Shari Winter's insight:
It is important to have effective and accurate reporting systems in place to identify areas that need improvement and to make educated decisions. This guideline is industry specific and applies to Western Australian, I would recommend this to Paul to use as a guide on effective accident and incident reporting.
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MSH_G_GeneralDutyOfCareWAMines.pdf

This information gives guidance or advice on the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and helps implement good practice. It also states obligations for each worker and person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).
Shari Winter's insight:
I would recommend the Duty of Care Guidelines to Paul. Although guidelines are not mandatory they do refer to legislation and give an idea of good practice. Knowing your general duty of care should influence decision making not only by the PCBU but workers decisions too and may improve compliance. These guidelines are relevant to Western Australian.
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Guide-Isolation_of_plant.pdf.pdf

This document explains everything you need to know about effective isolation including basic procedures, identifying potentially hazardous energy sources and risk management.

Shari Winter's insight:

When done correctly Isolation can be an effective control. These guidelines apply to Western Australia and I recommend this article to Paul to help reduce crush injuries and electrocutions. This is also an effective method in other hazardous areas containing potentially hazardous energy sources.

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General Manager

General Manager | OHS interviews in mining | Scoop.it

Meet BHP General Manager and Porsche Enthusiast Paul Hemburrow. Paul is 44 years old with 21 years experience in the mining industry and his qualifications include B.Sc (chem eng, mat sci) MBA (leadership, international trade) and SSE (Qld) RM (WA) S1,S2, S3, G2, G7.

 

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) applies to Paul’s occupation making him fully accountable for the safety of operations. He must ensure safe systems of work are in place, hazards and risks identified and controlled and ensure compliance with legislation and procedures.

Shari Winter's insight:

As Paul is the General Manager on site the list of hazards he encounters would be endless, the top four most common hazards identified in his work environment and the controls implemented for/by workers are:

 

Heavy and Light Vehicle Collisions

Minimising interaction between heavy and light vehicles, monitoring and improving road standards, compliance with traffic rules and training, vehicle reductions such as introducing mini buses to transport workers to crib huts and supplying vehicles with ANCAP 5star ratings.

 

Falling from Heights

If the task could not be brought to ground level then working at heights would include having adequate training and procedures. The procedures should include barricading, permits, fall restraint and arrest systems.

 

Crush Injuries

Correct training, barricading, personal protective equipment and isolation procedures should be followed to avoid crush injuries.

 

Electrocution

Can be mitigated with correct training, isolation and tagging systems, barriers and wearing correct personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Paul also comments on results demonstrating his mine site being safe but could be improved by simplifying safety systems, improving compliance to procedures and continued improvement of conditions and behaviours.

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Rina Evans's curator insight, March 22, 2015 11:02 AM

 

"The definition of OH&S in the mining industry has embarked on a higher level as mine sites has established many to mention protocols and trainings before a miner commences work. Personnel undergo numerous briefing and days of induction before officially starting a job to ensure workplace are under rules and regulations that are in place.” --rjevans

 

 

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Rear Dump Truck Operator

Rear Dump Truck Operator | OHS interviews in mining | Scoop.it

Meet rear dump truck operator Alicia, 28 years old, a non-unionist and has been in the mining industry for approximately 2 years. Alicia’s previous occupation was as a Pharmacy Assistant for 5 years and is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing. Safety is important to Alicia and she encourages others to have a high standard of care simply because our actions have consequences. Alicia works in an open cut mine and works long 12hour days hauling approximately 350 tonnes of coal from the pits to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP).

Shari Winter's insight:

A rear dump truck operator encounters many potential hazards. The following hazards and controls have been identified in her work environment:

 

Slip, Trips and Falls

Are managed by having 3 points of contact, wearing appropriate footwear, actively spotting and reporting hazards and keeping to designated areas.

 

Fatigue

Is a big issue in the mining industry with shift work and long 12hour days effecting the body. Alicia’s suggestions for managing fatigue are: ensure you get enough sleep by creating a dark room, block out noise by having a fan on, notify members of your family what hours you will be sleeping, turn phone off and set an alarm clock, eat healthy, exercise, only work set hours and say no to overtime shifts if you’re tired.

 

Tyre Fire

A scary thought but operators have seen a tyre fire at least once before. Alicia has not had a hot tyre on her dump truck as yet but feels she has adequate training in what to do in this situation. Her suggestions are to be aware of your surroundings (look for smoke), pull over, radio the Open Cut Examiner (OCE) and evacuate the vehicle ensuring you exit at the front of the vehicle as tyres usually explode outwards.

 

Crush Injuries

Are not common but when they occur can end in fatality. It is important to be aware of your surroundings, ensure you have been inducted and familiarised with the area you’re working in, wear reflective PPE to ensure you are visible to others, have your amber light, flag and headlights on, ensure call signs for you’re truck are visible and communicate clearly with others.

 

Blasting Operations

Blasting operations produce toxic and non-toxic gases, procedures are put in place by the blast crew to mitigate these hazards. It is important for operators to discuss blasting operations at prestart meetings, listen to OCE announcements during the day, read blasting notices and to ensure they are not in the vicinity of the blast area. 

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Managing-the-risk-of-fatigue.pdf

Guidelines for managing the risk of fatigue. This material is not industry specific but will give a good idea of things to identify when looking at fatigue related issues.

Shari Winter's insight:

Fatigue is a big issue in the mining industry and I would recommend this to Paul. Although the material is not industry specific it would help identify fatigue-related risk and the effects. This could help decrease the amount of vehicle incidents and other fatigue-related injuries on-site.

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basic_steps_falls_prevention.pdf

Provides basic information to prevent falls from heights both above and below 2metres. 

Shari Winter's insight:

Working on equipment is sometimes difficult when it is located off the ground floor. This article provides basic steps on how to mitigate falls from heights. This article is not specific to Western Australia but basic principles can be identified. I would suggest this for Paul.

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Washplant Operator

Washplant Operator | OHS interviews in mining | Scoop.it

Meet Washplant Operator, union member and fitter by trade Troy Winter. Troy is 51 years old and has worked in the mining industry for 4 years. Troy’s role as a Washplant Operator ensures the processing of coal runs smoothly. The work environment exposes operators to multiple potential hazards some being conveyor belts that travel at 2.5m/s and shift approximately 2 200tph, crushing systems, falling objects and physical hazards.

Shari Winter's insight:

Some of the main hazards identified and controls are below:

 

Crush Injuries

The possibility of getting crushed by equipment is nearly everywhere in Troy’s occupation. All conveyor belts are fitted with pull-wires and before working on any piece of equipment, such as crushers, a procedure must be followed which will always include communication between other workers, isolation, tag and test for dead before working on equipment, barricades and depending on the task permits may be required.

 

Falling Objects

Haul trucks dump approximately 350 tonnes of coal into a hopper. They reverse back towards the hopper that is fitted with multiple sensors for truck positioning and sprays to reduce dust. Around the hopper are high walls to prevent materials from falling over onto the work area below and some higher risk areas barricaded. Falling objects may also occur in the washplant, the floor has gaps to allow for easy cleaning, leaving room for tools and other items to possibly fall through and hit someone working below. All tools that are used in the plant must have a collar preventing them from falling between holes, depending on the risk assessment barricading in drop zones may also be put in place.

 

Fire

Coal is a conductor of heat and can easily catch on fire. Build up of coal under conveyor belts creates the potential for fire and is controlled by good housekeeping, washing away any build up and installing permanent sprays in higher risk areas.

 

Physical – Noise and Vibration

Noise and vibration hazards are also a large part of Troy’s occupation. Hearing protection is available to wear but can be an unfavourable solution sometimes reducing effective communication. Whole body vibration does not seem to have any effective controls in place but is still identified as a hazard. According to Groothof (2012 P. 13) the Australian standard “does not set exposure limits for whole-body vibration, but indicates ‘caution zones’ for risks to health”.

 

References

Groothof, B 2012, ‘Noise’ in Health and Safety Professionals Alliance, The core body of knowledge for generalist OHS professionals, Safety Institute of Australia, Tullamarine.

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Mine Site Cleaning Supervisor

Mine Site Cleaning Supervisor | OHS interviews in mining | Scoop.it

Meet cleaning supervisor Steph, 39 years old, a non-unionist and a mother of 2. Her role includes providing cleaning services to a mine site and ensuring her team does this safely. The role includes cleaning mine site offices, crib huts located along haul roads and at the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP), each area exposing very different potential hazards. Safety is important to Steph not only for legal purposes but on a personal level too. 

Shari Winter's insight:

The most common hazards identified in Steph's work environment and controls are below:

 

Strains and Sprains

Are the most common and difficult to manage in Steph’s occupation, being a labour intensive role therefor increasing the risk of injury. Steph provides manual handling training, implements mechanical aids, rotation of duties and ensures workers complete jobs at a steady pace. The mine site also has free on-site physiotherapy services and advice. 

 

Chemical Exposure

It is important to have adequate training on chemical usage, implement and follow Safe Work Procedures (SWP), have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which will also recommend Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn and other useful information.

 

Heavy/Light Vehicle Interaction

At the beginning of each shift her team will check the Open Cut Examiners (OCE) report for any hazards already reported, look at taking alternative routes if available to minimise heavy and light vehicle interaction and ensure their vehicle is mine site compliant including flag, flashing light and call sign for affective communication.

 

Blasting Activities

It is important for Steph and her team to be aware of blasting activities on site. They discuss blast reports during prestart and monitor the radio for any announcements that may affect their route. 

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Train Load Out Operator (TLO)

Train Load Out Operator (TLO) | OHS interviews in mining | Scoop.it

Meet 61 year old Glen, a Train Load Out Operator in the coal mining industry. Glen started in the mining industry as an apprentice boilermaker in 1970. He is an active union member and a qualified trainer in his field of work. Glen sees Occupational Health and Safety as guidelines for the job he does and how to conduct himself and keep safe.

 

The role of a Train Load Out Operator entails coal travelling up conveyor belts into a big storage bin, a train slowly creeps through underneath the bin and Glen controls the chute to the bin with his computer. It’s Glens job to get the right tonnes in the right spot of the wagon, not to overload or unevenly fill the wagons, ensure the coal is sprayed with a veneer to reduce dust and to ensure the coal in the wagons is not hot. It takes approximately 2 hours to load a train not having much time between trains to stretch or move from his seat.

 

Safety is important to Glen as it allows him to go home unhurt after every shift and enjoy things he likes to do. It also allows him to continue coming to work to fulfill financial commitments and live a happy and healthy life. 

Shari Winter's insight:

The most common hazards identified in this work environment along with controls are:

 

Strains and Sprains

has a comfortable chair, tries to have good posture and after each train try to have a break and a stretch

 

Being struck by a train

on his way to the TLO room Glen needs to cross the railway tracks, the company has placed an alternate route of up and over to avoid any potential incidents with the train. It is also a requirement to have good communication with the train driver via radio and for them to ask for permission to enter the TLO area before proceeding.

 

Overloaded or Uneven Wagons

Besides a visual check the TLO is also fitted with a weigh bridge that tells the operator how heavy the front and the back of the wagons are

 

Hot Coal

Visual checks are done both while loading the wagons and at the stockpile, water canons are installed on either side facing the wagons

 

Dust Exposure

Glen sits in a sealed room so dust is minimal, the coal is sprayed with a veneer to reduce dust while the coal is in transit reducing dust to other areas

 

Glen feels his work area is safe and he manages the potential hazards well.

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