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  • The Top 5 Safety Risks in Mining

    04-Apr-2013

    A recent whitepaper released by Australian Mining has outlined that the top five safety risks in mining are: human error, communication, vehicle and machinery operation, explosives and hazardous materials and fire.  It doesn’t matter what your role is or where you are working, if you are on a mine site you will be affected by these five risks.

    A considerable factor in human error is fatigue, and therefore fatigue management becomes a crucial part in managing this risk.

    To truly tackle the risks associated with workplace fatigue, industrial relations, wages rates, maximum hours worked, working environment, fitness for work and a whole range of other very difficult issues need to be addressed or, at least, discussed.   On the “soft” controls a leading US Safety Advisory Board says:

    “The basic elements of a fatigue prevention program, however, must still be sufficient staffing and the establishment of preventive limits on hours and days of work, overtime and related measures, along with clear management responsibility for the control of these and other workload risk factors.”

    It is clear that Safety, HR and Management need to work together to create an environment that reduces the risk of fatigue, but fatigue safety management is a shared responsibility.  Employers have a duty of care to provide safe work schedules that permit an adequate amount of time for an employee to sleep, rest and recover from a shift. Just as importantly, workers have a duty of care to their employer and fellow workers to ensure that they obtain sufficient sleep and rest in order to complete their work duties in a safe and responsible manner.

    A guide for employers and employees on how to manage fatigue in the workplace can be found here:

    http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/fatigue_management.pdf