The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Preventing and Managing Post Blast Fumes Conference

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Technical Conference

Hilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

26th - 27th September, 2012

This technical conference will look at the issues surrounding the prevention and management of post blast fume incidents.

A number of case studies from the following industry experts will be shown:

■  Steve Simmons, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal;

■  Grahame Clarke, Manager - Hunter Region, NSW Environment Protection;

■  Gary Cavanough, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO;

■  Tony Stewart, Drill & Blast Specialist, Thiess Pty Lyd;

■  Evandri Wancik, Principal Drill & Blast Engineer, Thiess Pty Ltd; and

■  Sarma Kanchibotla, Professor, Energy Efficient Mining, University of Queensland.

For further information and free brochure, click here.

Safety Checklist for Petrol Station Operators

Graham Marshall - Monday, July 30, 2012

Petrol filling stations are potentially dangerous places because the general public with little or no training actively handles a range of classified dangerous goods.  These hazardous substances included flammable liquids like petrol, liquefied petroleum gas and combustible liquids like diesel.

But refilling a vehicle on a garage forecourt is so routine that it may be thought to be an entirely safe process.

And although it is true that very few incidents occur at petrol stations, the accidents that do occur can have very serious consequences.

Many people are injured and some are killed each year resulting from incidents when refueling vehicles.

The risk potential can, however, be minimized by implementing simple controls that prevent incidents or assist in responding to them should they occur.

To start with, petrol station operators must ensure that their employees are not complacent about the hazards at work.

Employees must be well trained in emergency response procedures so they can react immediately and appropriately to incidents.

To assist operators ensure that good controls are in place, this free self-check guide will assist in the safe operation of supervised self-service petrol stations.

The free checklist identifies key elements that an individual without extensive knowledge or training can check.

Attending to these key elements can significantly minimize the risk from dangerous goods at petrol stations.

Security Risk Substances

Graham Marshall - Sunday, July 29, 2012

The WA Dangerous Goods Safety (Security Risk Substances) Regulations 2007 (the SRS Regulations) came into force following the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement  related to counter-terrorism measures.

The requirements of the SRS Regulations are in addition to the requirements of the other dangerous goods safety regulations.

The following substances, other than Class 1 dangerous goods, are security risk substances (SRS) in
Western Australia:

· Solid mixtures containing more than 45% ammonium nitrate (AN); and

· Ammonium nitrate emulsions, suspensions or gels.

This includes calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), which is not a dangerous good under the UN classification system.

The SRS licensing system allows only specifically authorized persons to possess SRS and have unsupervised access to them.

Authorized persons are either licence holders or so-called ‘secure employees’ of licence holders.

In order to obtain an SRS licence, a legitimate purpose must be demonstrated, such as:

· Use for manufacture of commercial explosives and non-SRS products such as nitrous oxide;

· Use in laboratories for research, teaching and testing; and

· Fertilizer use by primary producers.

Licences are not issued for household use or fertilization of recreational grounds (e.g. sports grounds, parks, gardens).

Licensed shotfirers and operators of mobile processing units (MPUs; licensed under the Explosives Regulations) do not need to be separately authorized to possess SRS.

Anyone else requires one or more of the following three-year licences to possess or purchase SRS:

· SRS import/export licence;

· SRS manufacture licence (allows associated storage);

· SRS storage licence;

· SRS transport licence;

· SRS supply licence; and

· SRS fertilizer licence (combination licence for transport, storage and use).

SRS manufacture, storage, transport and fertilizer licences require a security plan as a precondition for obtaining the licence.

SRS licences are only issued to applicants in possession of a valid security clearance, as shown by a current dangerous goods security card.

The security clearance process is conducted by the WA Police Service.

It is an offence for an employer or secure employees to allow unsupervised access to SRS by an employee without a security clearance.

Further Guidance can be found by clicking this link.

Resources Safety Division in WA

Graham Marshall - Saturday, July 28, 2012

Street address: Level 1, 303 Sevenoaks St, Cannington WA 6107
Postal address: Mineral House, 100 Plain St, East Perth WA 6004
Telephone: +61 8 9358 8002 (Monday-Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)
Facsimile: +61 8 9358 8000
NRS: 13 36 77 (the National Relay Service is an Australia-wide telephone access service available at no additional charge to people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment)

including explosives, fireworks and major hazard facilities
Telephone: +61 8 9358 8002
Facsimile: +61 8 9358 8000
Dial 000 for dangerous goods emergencies or accidents requiring attendance of emergency services

including onshore petroleum pipelines and operations, and geothermal energy
Telephone: +61 8 9222 3597
Facsimile: +61 8 9222 3383

including exploration, mining and mineral processing
Telephone: +61 8 9358 8079 (general enquiries and safety and health representatives)
+61 8 9358 8102 (mines safety reporting)
+61 8 9358 8461 (health surveillance [MineHealth], contaminant monitoring and reporting)
Facsimile: +61 8 9325 2280

For a serious mining accident or incident, the mine or exploration manager must advise their District Inspector as soon as practicable.

Street address: Level 1, 303 Sevenoaks Street, Cannington WA 6107
Postal address: Mineral House, 100 Plain St, East Perth WA 6004
Telephone: +61 8 9358 8079

Street address: Cnr Broadwood and Hunter Sts, Kalgoorlie WA 6430
Postal address: Locked Bag 405, Kalgoorlie WA 6433
Telephone: +61 8 9021 9411

Street address: Level 1, 303 Sevenoaks Street, Cannington WA 6107
Postal address: Mineral House, 100 Plain St, East Perth WA 6004
Telephone: +61 8 9358 8079
Street address: 66 Wittenoom Street, Collie WA 6225
Postal address: PO Box 500, Collie WA 6225
Telephone: +61 8 9734 1222

Danger of Micro-sleep When Driving

Graham Marshall - Friday, July 27, 2012

Does OHS Training Work?

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Statistics for the 2010 period, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), show that about 80 per cent of workplace fatalities in Australia occurred in the following industries:

+   Construction (28 deaths);

+   Non-mining primary industries (26);

+   Manufacturing (15);

+   Transport and storage (14); and

+   Mining (6).

A comparison of the number of workplace fatalities and the rate of OHS training within each sector shows an interesting "inverse" relationship.

The highest fatality rate, at 6.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers, was in the non-mining primary industries, which the ABS also shows to have a low rate of OHS training. Only 52 per cent of workers in these non-mining primary industries had received appropriate OHS training.

This fatality rate was almost double that for the mining industry, which was 3.5 per 100,000 workers.  The ABS showed that 92 per cent of mining workers had received appropriate OHS training.

It seems apparent that understanding and applying the hazard and risk management process through the implementation of risk management tools such as Stepback, JSA or Risk Assessment is important to staying healthy and safe.

Feel free to get in touch about our Stepback, JSA and Risk Assessment training programs as it is clear that they have the potential to continue to play important roles.

Managing Hazards During Construction

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

According to the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum, there is more than AUD $180 billion worth of resource projects in development in Western Australia.

These mega-projects are expected to create more than 50,000 new construction jobs.

But the construction phase is a dangerous time for workers.

Accident statistics for the minerals sector have shown a consistently high proportion of fatalities and injuries associated with construction activities.

This is mainly because construction workers undertake such a high-number of potentially higher-risk tasks and jobs.  Examples of these higher-risk jobs include:

• Lots of driving of light-vehicles and heavier mobile-equipment;

• Scaffolding;

• Tilt up or precast construction;

• Electrical work;

• Working at height;

• Using cranes;

• Work in excavations;

• Working with hazardous substances; and

• Using elevated work platforms (EWPs).

The requirement to perform such a high number of potentially higher-risk jobs is also then compounded by other management issues.  These include:

• Tight deadlines for project completion;

• An inexperienced workforce;

• Large numbers of workers concentrated in relatively small area's; and

• The potential for poor contractor management systems.

Risk management during the construction phase of project development has always been a priority target for  the Risk Management Tool Box.

For almost 15-years we've been reviewing and revising customer management systems to improve compliance capacity and capabilities, and add value by raising awareness of the hazard and risk management process.

Our experience and expertise during the construction phase is focused on the following:

• Improving the internal systems and processes deployed to manage risk by our customers, especially focussed on procedures, job safety analysis and appropriate risk assessments and planning;

• Empowering construction workers with the required safety competency needed to effectively promote OHS requirements during construction;

• Helping workers, supervisors and managers to identify and manage common construction hazards; and

• Providing behaviour-based hazard observation programs to ensure everyone is involved in managing the hazards they face at work.

Feel free to get in touch if it sounds like we have anything to offer!

Managing Risk When Working Alone

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Because Western Australia covers such a big area, there are many times each day where a person could work alone in a remote or relatively isolated location.

Some examples are:

• Farm workers and foresters; 

• Local or State Government employees;

• Vermin and pest controllers;

• Geologists; and

• Hunters.

Workers may also do their jobs alone in a Perth-metropolitan area. For example, a worker is alone when he or she: 

• Works in a depot or business when there are no other workers;

• Works in a workplace when everyone else has gone home;

• Examines large structures, such as cranes, when there is no-one else in the vicinity;

• Undertakes maintenance or construction work in vacant premises;

• Cleans offices in high rise buildings when there is no-one else in the area being cleaned;

• Is called out at night to check on security alarms or faults in a business premises that is closed;

• Works on his or her own as a ranger in parkland and reserves; and

• Inspects vacant  land  for the presence of noxious weeds when landowners are not present.

In most cases the risk associated with solo-work is increased because of emergency situations which may arise due to the sudden onset of a medical condition, accidental work-related injury or disease, attack by an animal, exposure to the elements, or by becoming stranded without food or water.

The consequences may be very serious and the injury or disease may be fatal.

In response to the heightened risk, the Government of WA has developed this Guidance Note which explains the OSH laws that apply to people who work alone.

It covers general requirements in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and specific regulatory requirements where they exist.

Included here, you will also find a completed JSA that addresses the risk associated with working in remote locations.


Congratulations to Bradly Wiggins

Graham Marshall - Monday, July 23, 2012

A brilliant result for British sport overnight with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France.  A great achievement for a true ambassador of excellence.

Not to forget the great result for Chris Froome taking second place to make a one-two pole position for Britain as well as the the sprint victories for Mark Cavendish. 

What a fantastic day to be British!  Roll on the Olympics!



Esperence Lead Contamination

Graham Marshall - Sunday, July 22, 2012

The clean-up  of one of Western Australia's worst environmental disasters, involving lead contamination in the town of Esperence is due to be completed in July 2012.

It has taken more than five years since the problems were first identified following the deaths of thousands of birds and the discovery of elevated lead levels in local children.

It was found that lead dust was escaping at the Esperence Port during ship-loading and during transportation from a Wiluna mine by train to the town.
Water tanks across Esperence were discovered to have lead levels exceeding the standard for safe drinking water.

Since establishing a clean-up program in 2008, the Government of WA has spent AUD $25 million testing properties in the town for lead contamination.

Lead mining company Magellan Metals has also contributed AUD $9 million towards the clean-up and $1 million to establish a community fund. The WA Minister for Transport (Troy Buswell) said the clean-up had cost $5.8 million more than expected.

Of the tested properties, 1,775 homes and commercial premises needed to be de-contaminated.

The WA Department of Health carried out a blood lead survey and identified 33 people, including many children with blood lead levels in excess of the internationally recognized health guideline of 10 micrograms per decilitre.

Blood lead levels in affected children have since reduced to below 5ug/dL, according to a government website.

An audit will now be carried out by an independent environmental consultant to ensure no lead contamination remains in the town.

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