Dad's scoop is at the bottom of this page from Q2. I Chose Dad because the mining industry is well known for the hazards that so many are exposed to but also their high quality in safety management. Although accidents do happen, statistics show that mining is still one of the safest occupations to work in in Australia due to the safety management plans.
The hazards that I have focused on in my scoop are:
HILLS & SLOPES
(These were the hazards that Dad and I identified whilst completing Quest 2)
Australia’s mine sites are often described as being ‘hotter than hell’.
Jodie Bond's insight:
Getting dehydrate whilst working on a mine site can easily occur. Dad always drinks plenty of water and occasionally has electrolytes as well to help absorb the water.
However studies also show that there is a direct link to becoming dehydrated and fatigue. Serious dehydration can lead to death but so can fatigue. Combine both of these factors and accidents can easily happen.
Some of the early warning signs and prevention methods have been mentioned in this article as long with the consequences of becoming dehydrated and having heat stress.
Tractors and other mobile machinery in agricultural, forestry, construction and mining work, as well as materials handling, can give rise to serious h...
Jodie Bond's insight:
I was quite surprised on the lack of information in regards to machinery operator'sand the risks involved to operating on uneven ground. I am sure most of us have driven a car over some sort of rough ground and know how this can be a serious hazard when operating very heavy machinery.
In the above link the authors have demonstrated that the majority of rollovers have occurred on flat or even ground, they conclude that drivers may become complacent and less aware when operating on even ground. I found this very interesting as this has occurred to me when I have been driving a car for some time on a quiet easy flat highway, but combine this with fatigue and it is a disaster waiting to happen.
I believe Dad would find this information invaluable as it relates to many different machines that operate on different surfaces as he does in Northern WA.
George has been with the Australian Army for about 18 years. Many of his postings/deployments have taken him to various parts of Australia and overseas. A soldier will see many environments such as thick bushland, deserts and open plains. Although his roles/postings have been varied the below hazards are the ones that stick to his mind the most.
Jodie Bond's insight:
EXTENDED WORK HOURS
During some of his postings and whilst on training, George has been expected to work for very long hours. On one of his postings is it is very common to work 7 days a week arriving at work at 6am and arriving home after 9:30pm. This puts a huge strain on his physical and mental well being and impacts his family life to a certain extent. George mentions that he wouldn't be able to be successful in his role without the support of his wife. He also manages fatigue by trying to get a sleep in at work (which is allowed when he can) but its not usually a good sleep due the outside noise and distractions that surrounds him. What George did look forward to is the time when he can have a week off to recoup after the full on 3 months than its back into doing it again.
Not only in that posting, but during field exercises and spending time out bush. Generally they will train soldiers in being in less than comfortable situations in all types of weather conditions which only adds to the fatigue. Keeping fit and healthy George admits is essential in getting through these times of training and making the most of down times and sleeping when you can (George mentioned that he has had to sleep in water once, where the rain was falling heavily and he was basically in a puddle, which was extremely difficult to get any sleep at all). In addition to the fatigue in these certain periods is the lack of food.
LACK OF FOOD
George mentions that having water to drink is never an issue and is always well catered for. However there have been instances in where you might only receive one main meal a day. The Army of course has catered for this and the meals are very high in protein and carbohydrates and can keep you well nourished during these training/deployment periods, however according to George, 'they don't always taste very nice, but you eat them as there isn't much choice and you are HUNGRY!'
NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS
During many training exercises the soldiers are to perform drills and practices with firearms. There have been instances (although very few) that other young soldiers have discharged a firearm in error. This can potentially have a fatal outcome and is dealt with very strict response. There are many controls in place that prevent this from happening. All soldiers are trained in weapon handling prior to firing weapons with live rounds and have to be deemed competent before being given access to weapons with minimal supervision. All firearms have safety latches that SHOULD be engaged when the weapon is not in use. But like any hazards that we as humans are exposed to human error comes into play and these instances can occur.
When using firearms and other types of weapons eg grenades, firearms and guns attached to vehicles, George is exposed to very high levels of noise. Whenever firearms are in use George is required to wear ear protection. George's earmuffs are excellent. I tried them on and you literally cannot hear any general noise that you could hear prior to wearing them. These type of earmuffs are also modified & fitted to the combat helmets with radio comms inside so easy communication is still viable when necessary.
CARRYING OF HEAVY LOADS
As most of you have seen on television or internet, Soldiers are expected to carry large heavy packs at certain times. These packs can weigh in excess of 30kg and the soldier may have to walk over rough terrain to get to the desired location. Many of the terrains that you could be pack marching over are very rough (generally you pack march when a vehicle cannot drive over the terrain) and if you loose your footing it is pretty likely that you fall over injuring yourself due to not being able to balance easily with such a heavy load. George made comment that being fit and constantly training is the only way to perform this task safely and being a larger person always helps to carry the pack comfortably.
Kim has worked in the Oil & Gas industry in both Scotland and Australia for about 10 years and was my supervisor and is still a great friend when we worked together in Perth.
She is currently working as a BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training) Instructor which includes, Oil & Gas safety induction, Sea Survival, HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training) and Basic Fire Fighting. Kim's job takes her on oil platforms off the coast of WA and Bass Strait even though she usually works in a training facility in Perth.
Jodie Bond's insight:
On a day to day basis Kim's job is hazardous, she constantly is training people in practical based courses taking them out of their comfort zone. As there are many hazards that are involved in this type of training, I have tried to limit the examples. The following hazards have been listed under the areas in which Kim instructs her trainees.
(As pictured) For those of you who don't know what HUET or Helicopter Underwater Escape Training is, it is for when you fly over water in a helicopter and if it has to 'ditch' (emergency landing on water) onto the water it prepares you for escaping the helicopter safely. Usually the helicopter's flotation devices are activated and the helicopter will become stable and 'float' upright. But if the helicopter does not stabilize it can still float but will capsize, so you will be turned up side down while still strapped in your seat. HUET training is taught to a variety of different people and some of these people cannot swim. Which can become a hazard if that trainee panics underwater. But has been proven to save lives when a real ditching occurs.
- Water Temperature
The pool is constantly monitored where the training will take place. The chlorine levels are checked 3 times a day along with acidity and temperature. The pool is indoors to prevent sunburn and exposure to the elements which enable the course to be run all year round and also has a heater so the water can be heated more so in the cooler months. As part of the training, the trainees complete the course in overalls and shoes so they can be more prepared in a real situation so water temperature is monitored closely and the trainers and safety divers all wear neoprene wetsuits to keep warm and protect them from cuts and abrasions.
When Kim completes the HUET component of the course, she has to demonstrate the tasks that are to be completed underwater, she also has to observe the trainees and give assistance if required also underwater. Some of the hazards Kim is exposed to are, limited air supply, possible entrapment within the simulator, being struck by the simulator or being struck by a trainee. To prevent any of these hazards causing Kim harm she wears PPE such as a helmet, gloves and a wetsuit. Kim also wears a small scuba diving apparatus that enables her to breathe underwater so she can easily assist others and keep herself safe.
The fire that Kim uses to train is completely real. The trainees are taught to extinguish various classes of fire with different types of extinguishers. For example, they will learn the difference between different fires like wood, oil or fuel based fires, gas fires, electrical and cooking fat fires. Each of these fires has a certain type of extinguisher that can be used ie Wood fire - use water, diesel fire you can use CO2 or DCP (dry chemical powder) extinguisher. To ensure that everyone is safe during this training and does not get burnt, everyone on the fire ground is to wear helmets with a visor, fire retardant clothing and jacket, gloves and boots. To ensure the group knows exactly what is expected of them Kim gives a brief on the area, and where to remain once the training has commence. In her brief Kim also discusses the procedure if someone happens to come in contact with flames. During the exercises Kim has other people assisting to monitor the fires and the trainees. Each of these assistants is dressed appropriately, has access to fire extinguishing agents and are well trained in first aid with oxygen supply.
Kim's job sounds exciting and she does enjoy it, she also comments on where she works being very proactive in Safety as they are one of the leaders in Safety Training. There rarely is an incident at her workplace which is amazing, considering what they are exposed to. It just goes to show that anywhere can be safe if the appropriate controls are put into place.
Dust can be a very serious concern for the mine site employees and surrounding communities. This article briefly looks at different conditions around the worlds different mining countries.
Dad works on a mine that has a supply of water that is sprayed onto the road surfaces to prevent dust being blown over the worksite and nearby communities.
However due to the direct exposure to the dust, many workers have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as glasses and masks to prevent the dust entering their eyes and lungs and causing injuries and disease.
The attached information would hopefully make Dad more aware of the consequences of inhaling dust and subsequently encourage Dad to wear the appropriate PPE to prevent illnesses.
The above is a small brochure that was published by the Department of Mines & Petroleum in WA focusing on Haul truck operations on mine sites.It focuses on the Hazards, consequences and the basic steps that operators can do to prevent accidents occurring.
When operating machinery anywhere there are risks but make the machine 300 tonnes with next to no visibility for the operator (only straight out in front) and the risks increase significantly.
Dad is an experienced operator and is well aware of the hazards, but Dad agrees that making himself aware of these hazards regularly - prevents him from being complacent.
As dad works 12 hours a day operating machinery and basically drives around in circles, he can easily get fatigued. There is plenty of information for the employer but I wanted to focus on what Dad could do himself to manage his own fatigue. The above information has lots of tips and strategies to help manage and prevent fatigue for the employee. One of the tips I also like was to 'watch out for the signs in fellow colleagues'. This is also promoting teamwork and a sense of mateship to look out for one another.
Mike (pictured on left) lives in Perth WA and is a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. Mike and I have worked and travelled together as divers and are both passionate about doing dives as safely as possible as there really isn't much room for error!
Jodie Bond's insight:
Even though Mike has to closely watch the weather reports, the weather can change at a moments notice. There have been times when Mike has had 6 to 8 students at a dive site in Rockingham and has come back to the surface with his students to find the ocean very choppy with lots of wind and rain. This makes it very difficult for some (students) to make it back to the shore or boat as they may have to swim against the current and waves. In these circumstance Mike always briefs the students prior to the dive that they should use their snorkel to prevent inhaling or swallowing too much sea water. (Mike also has to ensure that all students have their snorkel before commencing the dive). In addition to this, Mike also has to have excellent underwater navigation skills (you can't use GPS down there!!) because a small current can push you and your group of students totally off course. Mike uses an underwater compass and only takes his students to sites that he knows well.
Even though Mike is completely comfortable under the water, some of his dive buddies or students can potentially cause him harm (and themselves) if they become panicked. When a diver becomes panicked, they can react in many different ways, for example removing mask or regulator, freezing and not responding but the most common is ascending very quickly to the surface. When this occurs this can cause decompression sickness where the nitrogen in your blood is not transferred into the respiratory system to be exhaled slowly enough, this is why we ascend at a rate of 9 seconds per metre (what happens is like shaking a coke bottle and removing the lid - come up slowly and the gases in your blood have time to settle).
To ensure student divers are comfortable with their equipment and techniques we teach them necessary skills in a controlled environment such as a pool (or a place that is pool like conditions) and they have to complete and pass certain text book modules and exams before they venture into open water. All scuba divers also have to complete a swim test to ensure they can competently swim back to shore or boat.
As a dive instructor there are also plenty of procedures in place, for example their are depth limits that you can take your students whilst teaching (no deeper than 12 to 18 metres in open water - depending on course, age etc)
As mentioned above in regards to ascending to quickly to the surface, there are also dangers in descending to quickly or remaining at depth for long periods of time.
If you descend too quickly and cannot equalise your ears (commonly known as popping your ears or the valsalva manoeuvre ) or if you do a forceful valsalva which in turn can rupture an ear drum.
Other forms of pressure injuries are lung collapse or overexpansion, decompression sickness and ear squeezes.
Another potential injury can be caused by divers holding the breathe when ascending which can cause the air to expand in your lungs, with no escape route the lungs will then over expand causing a rupture which will then leak air into the surrounding tissues and blood stream and potentially lead to death.
All of these injuries are easily avoidable (or no-one would dive) if you follow the procedures that you have been trained and dive sensibly. It is also recommended that you stay fit and healthy and do not dive if you do not feel 100% fine and are not already stressed (for any reason).
DANGEROUS MARINE LIFE
There are many different types of marine life that can be a potential hazard to people scuba diving in the water. These can range from different types of coral, stingrays, sharks, eels, jelly fish and even the cute fish can bite or sting. Most of the sub sea creatures you will come in contact with will keep their distance (even sharks) however like any land bound animal they will use what ever their defence mechanism is if they feel threatened or cornered. During Mike's pre-dive brief he will explain what people might see at that particular site and enforces how we do not touch any marine life and certainly do not provoke any of them by poking or purposely disturbing them.
Also in certain areas of Australia, divers are required to where full body wet suits, gloves & hoods to prevent being stung by a jelly fish (trust me you don't want this to happen!!!) or accidently brushing against certain coral.
In addition to these precautions Mike is also well trained in first aid, especially in treating marine stings & bites. Common signs/symptoms of marine life injuries are: Local swelling, inflammation and welts. Of course there are more serious injuries that can be sustained but these are not as common.
Jules lives in central rural NSW where she works as a storeperson for a local Stock & Station agent that also supplies stock food, farm chemicals, nutrients and seeds. Jules' job can vary from administration, unloading of delivery trucks, delivering goods direct to the farmer and general warehouse duties.
Jodie Bond's insight:
Whilst Jules uses forklifts and trolleys to move the heavier products from trucks to the warehouse and to load customers utes she also has available floor trolleys, however it can be unrealistic to utilise the forklift for a 20kg bag of dog food. Jules will often take this out to the customers car herself or will ask one the boys she works with to lift it. Jules has been trained in proper manual handling techniques but admits that sometimes she will be a little relaxed when she is having a busy day and will often complete a lot of the tasks herself. During our conversation she also mentioned that when she uses the pallet wrapper (looks like a giant roll of glad wrap) that bending down to wrap the pallet her back starts to ache as it is quite awkward to hold. We chatted about this and decided that putting a pallet (using the forklift) on a stand would be better as it would prevent her bending down to the floor whilst walking around the pallet to wrap it - it would be at her waist/knee height.
Jules uses the forklift (as pictured) at least 5 to 10 times a day. Jules has been trained and more than competent using this particular piece of machinery, however whilst she is using it there are many things to consider. Jules main concern would be the pot holes in the yard that have developed after recent rain falls deteriorating the yards surface.
As forklifts don't have suspension it can become very rough and cause damage to the machine and potentially cause Jules to overturn the forklift if she happens to hit one whilst carrying a load. She advised me that she has reported it but hasn't heard of when it will be repaired.
Some of the other hazards when operating a forklift are: people walking around in the warehouse, other vehicles, noise and objects potentially falling on her from the top shelves. When we were chatting we both came up with the idea of a couple of more signs alerting to traffic that forklifts are operating in that particular area.
Some of the products that Jules unloads and loads for customers are potentially dangerous to her and the environment. Some of these include cattle & sheep drenches, stock vaccines, crop fertilisers and weed killers. Jules showed me how each of these chemicals are stored and how she has an up to date MSDS on file. She also explained that each carton/pallet has to have an MSDS accompany it when being transported. As Jules usually only deals with these chemicals while they are in the container she also has to have complete knowledge on what is stored in the warehouse and know what to do if they become damaged and spill or leak. Jules also mentioned that when the area was evacuated a couple of years ago for a potential flood, all of the 'dangerous' chemicals were stored on the top shelf of the warehouse to prevent them leaking into the flood water if it came through the warehouse.
Just in case Jules also has 2 spill kits located in the warehouse that contain absorbent materials and PPE that enable her to safely clean up a spill before it can contaminate the environment and also has a shower if she or another person comes in contact with harmful chemicals.
In the warehouse it can get very dusty and one of Jules duties is to sweep the warehouse floor. Jules mentions that it can get extremely dusty and it is very very fine and easy to breathe in. Jules mentioned that it is not only dirt that is contained in the dust but also rat faeces, wheat and grain particles and it could also contain particles of powdered chemicals if a bag has been torn in transit. Jules wears a particle mask when she is sweeping to prevent the inhalation but she also mentioned if it is very windy the dust can be blown around any time.
Lenny is a plant operator on a construction (mine) site in the Pilbara in Northern Western Australia and is also my Dad (which was fairly hazardous itself when I was growing up)
Jodie Bond's insight:
As you can see in the photo, where Dad works is fairly dusty and baron. He works 12 hours , usually on machinery making way for new roads and constructing a railway. Prevention of inhaling the dust is prevented when he is in his machine as the cabs are air-conditioned which pressurizes the cab a little to reduce the amount of dust entering the cab during operation. There are also water trucks that follow the machines in some areas where they moisten the roads to settle and lower dust in the air. However when he steps out of the machine to do some maintenance or minor repairs he sometimes has to where a mask as his machine is covered in very fine dust and he can inhale it when the dust is disturbed whilst completing any repairs.
In the Pilbara the temperature can reach up to the high 40's to low 50's. So becoming dehydrated is a fairly big risk. Dad has a five litre water bottle that he takes everywhere when his at work and also his employer suppliers electrolyte ice blocks so he and his workmates can properly absorb their water and remain hydrated. All buildings are air conditioned as well as the machines to also prevent heat stress.
On the construction site there are many different types of vehicles and machinery. The traffic is controlled by strict rules that inhabit entrance to certain areas by light vehicles (eg 4WD wagons/utes) and by communication protocols. Also there is poor visibility when operating some of the heavier equipment so communication between the operators is vital to prevent collisions and accidents.
HILLS & SLOPES
As Dad operates some of the large earthmoving equipment one of his major hazards is the slopes and hills that he has to work on. Due to the machines being very heavy (up to 30 to 50 tonnes) these machines cannot easily manoeuvre around small hills and slopes can be dangerous as gravity works against them when moving over them. Extensive experience is required when operating in such an environment to be able to apply the knowledge to know what the machine can and cannot do safely. Of course there are many qualifications but Dad and his workmates complete a risk assessment and also attend a pre-start meeting before every shift so they can communicate the hazards that may have become apparent since the last pre-start.
Due to the long work hours (12 hours per day) over a long period of time (Dad works on a four week on, one week off roster), fatigue is constantly monitored. Whilst you are in the camp, you must keep noise levels down to an absolute minimum. You must not talk loudly while walking past rooms and no loud music is to be played at all. During their shift, they get three breaks, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. They are also to report immediately if they are feeling fatigued and the supervisors will manage the tasks for personnel accordingly so a fatigued person will not operate any machinery. These jobs are rotated throughout the four week roster to also prevent boredom.
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