The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Carcinogenic Diesel Fumes in Mines

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Diesel exhaust fumes were reclassified as a carcinogen to humans in June 2012.

That change has implications for the mining industry as many mines use diesel engines in some form or other.

The law in Australia requires that:

+  Mine operators ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health of workers;

+  Fumes from diesel plant in underground parts of a mine are minimized as far as reasonably practicable;

+  Management systems to control diesel pollutants in the underground parts of a coal operation are in place; and

+  All mines should have a documented strategy to control diesel emissions with the objective of minimizing people’s exposure to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

For full details and recommendations see SB13-03 Diesel Emissions in Mines and other safety bulletins published by the Resources Safety Department in NSW.

WA Mining Fatalities in 2012

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Mining Sector in WA was fatality-free in 2012 - the first time this has been achieved since Mining accident statistics began to be recorded in 1896.

The fatal injury frequency rate has also been reduced by 81 per cent over the past decade.

These are significant positive results and it is particularly pleasing when you consider the industry employs close to 100,000 workers.

WA employs 63 Mines Inspectors who perform around 2,400 site visits per year.

 

Over the past three financial years, the department has temporarily halted operations of 418 sites over safety concerns.

And we're happy to have played some small part in this cultural change.  It's now more than 15-years since I was first engaged by WMC Resources (now part of BHP Billiton) during the days of the elimination of fatalities task force in WMC.

Peter Plavina and Chris Bradshaw at WMC were early pioneers and an inspiration to me!

Diesel Particulate Risk in WA Mines

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Diesel particulates - tiny carbon particles in diesel exhaust - that have the potential to penetrate deep into the lungs are now listed as carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation's cancer research branch.

And underground mine workers in Western Australia, and elsewhere, may be at higher risk than the rest of the population because the machines they use are diesel-powered.

If exhaust fumes cannot escape mine shafts or mining companies allow poor ventilation, then the risk increases.

In Western Australia, a "top priority" working group chaired by the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy and including the Department of Mines and Petroleum was set up in June 2011, to finalise guidelines for the management of diesel particulates.

As far back as 2004, the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists warned that regulatory bodies in Australia were not treating the issue seriously.

Exhaust filters should be mandatory, better ventilation is a must and air testing should be rigerous.

The WA Mines Department says diesel particulates must not top 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre of submicron elemental carbon, all mines must submit their air quality results, and any that exceed the levels are shut down.

So far this year, inspectors shut down two mines in the WAGoldfields for air quality or ventilation breaches. "The department recognises that exposure to diesel engine emissions should be minimised, which is why the working group is currently developing a new guideline and why we inspect and audit sites," safety executive director Simon Ridge said.

Barrick Gold is one company which now requires underground workers to wear respirators where diesel levels are high.

FIFO Worker Survey

Graham Marshall - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Are you a FIFO worker in the Australian resources sector?

The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) and the Minerals Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) at the University of Queensland are conducting a survey of FIFO (and other non-residential) resource industry workers.

The purpose of this study is to better understand how different accommodation options may impact on the health, wellbeing and job satisfaction of non-resident workers. So if you are a fly-in fly-out (FIFO), drive in drive out (DIDO) or bus in bus out (BIBO) worker, the CSRM would like to hear from you.

Please click on the following link and let us know your views. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/uqFIFOsurvey

 

Common Safety Training Program for Experienced Workers

Graham Marshall - Sunday, September 30, 2012

The APPEA industry forum on Tuesday 14th August 2012 identified that experienced workers (those with more than one year's industry experience) can have their Recognized Prior Learning ("RPL") status confirmed within the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) if they have previously completed the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box.

According to the CSTP Independent Reviewer, the Risk Tool Box training program meets the Recognized Prior Learning status for the CSTP module "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

The confirmation of our RPL status by APPEA and the CSTP means that company's with offshore workers could save themselves thousands of dollars in future additional training costs.

That is because the Risk Tool Box training program already addresses the Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk Assessment RPL requirements within the CSTP framework.

The confirmation of RPL status for our training course is applicable to more than 10,000 employees and contractors who have completed our Stepback and JHA training. 

HSE Managers and/or Training Managers in the following company's should now check their records for evidence of their workers attending our hazard awareness and JHA training:

+   TK Shipping;
 
+   BHP Billiton;

+   Hess;

+   Santos;

+   ENI;

+   Transfield Worley;+   Shell Development Australia;

+   Chevron;

+   Woodside; and

+   Other smaller contractors and suppliers who work in offshore production and/or drilling facilities.

We will also continue to assist any company with its Hazard Awareness, Stepback, JHA, Risk Assessment and HazOp Training requirements using our industry-leading program. 

And unlike certain other organizations that have come to WA from Aberdeen, NSW, or elsewhere to make some quick cash from our boom, we're a proudly Australian business with a WA-developed program from the start back in 1998!

CSTP Confirms Recognized Prior Learning for Risk Tool Box

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alf Standen (Independent Reviewer) has confirmed to Dr Graham Marshall of the Risk Tool Box, that offshore workers who have attended the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box over recent years may have "recognized prior learning" (RPL) status within the the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) module called "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

According to the confirmation by the CSTP Independent Reviewer, workers who have completed the Risk Tool Box training program addressing Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk  Assessment may meet the RPL requirements within the CSTP framework."  

The confirmation was made verbally in response to a question put to Alf Standan.  In all cases, Organizations and individuals wishing to learn the status of RPL, should contact either APPEA or the independant reviewer for further confirmation of thier status.

According to the confirmation by CSTP Independent Reviewer, workers who have completed the Risk Tool Box training program addressing Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk Assessment may meet the RPL requirements within the CSTP framework.

The confirmation of RPL status for our training course may be applicable to more than 10,000 employees and contractors who have completed our Stepback and JHA training. 

We suggest that HSE Managers and/or Training Managers in the following organizations check their training matrix records for evidence of their workers attending our hazard management program since 1998:

+   Shell Development Australia;

+   Chevron;

+   Woodside;

+   BHP Billiton;

+   TK Shipping;
 
+   ENI;

+   Transfield Worley;

+   Hess;

+   Santos; and

+   Other smaller contractors and suppliers who work offshore on the NW Shelf or further afield.

Of course, we will be also happy to continue to assist any organization with its Hazard and Risk Management Training requirements for Stepback, JHA or Risk Assessment using our World-class program.

Mine Water Management Conference

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 12, 2012

Enclosed here is the brochure on the upcoming International Mine Water Association (IMWA) 2012 conference to be in held in Bunbury, Western Australia from 30 September 30 - 4 October 2012.

This is the first time this prestigious international industry conference has been in Australia in 25 years, and the first time in Western Australia.

The conference themes are within a broader theme of "Reducing the impact and making the most of mine water" as a broader addressing of mining industry sustainability through wise and care use of water.

Sub-sea First Response Toolkit (SFRT)

Graham Marshall - Saturday, July 07, 2012

Twelve of the World's largest oil and gas companies have committed $25.2 million towards an Australian industry program to deal with the potential for uncontrolled oil and gas leaks.

Woodside Petroleum is joined by Royal Dutch Shell, Apache, Chevron, BHP Billiton, ConocoPhillips, Eni, INPEX, Santos, ExxonMobil, PTTP, and BP.  Each partner has committed $2.1 million to the new program.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) will co-ordinate the program and the 12 companies will commit the funds over five years to ensure access to a sub-sea first response toolkit (SFRT).

The SFRT is designed to address the risk of any uncontrolled discharge from offshore sub-sea oil and gas wells.

The specialized equipment will be located in Australia and contracted through the industry-funded Australian Marine Oil Spill Center (AMOSC) for immediate mobilization if there is an sub-sea blow-out.

The SFRT contains all equipment needed to clean the area around the wellhead, enable intervention and prepare for relief well drilling and safe installation of a capping device.

All Australian offshore operators will be able to access the SFRT on an affordable basis.

Speaking at the launch of the program, APPEA chief executive David Byers said "The continued development of offshore oil and gas is essential for Australia's prosperity and energy security, but the industry must ensure we have access to the latest systems, technology and expertise to achieve the highest standards for our environment and safety performance."

Mr Byers said the Montara and Macondo offshore oil spill disasters, and subsequent inquiry recommendations, had highlighted the need for the international offshore petroleum exploration and production industry to create a capability for fast and effective response to uncontrolled hydrocarbons releases.

 

Hard Hat High Tea

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 13, 2012

Belinda Stuckenberg - Head of Health and Safety for BHP Billiton Iron Ore is one of three guest speakers who will present at a women in the mining industry networking forum next month.

Other guest speakers at the women's networking forum are Kelly Howlett, Major of Port Hedland; and Natasha Cann, Winner of the 2012 Women in Resources Chamber of Mineral and Energy award for
Outstanding Technician.

The networking forum is taking place on 1st June at Port Hedland Civic Centre in the WA Pilbara region.  Numbers are strictly limited to 40 people and the cost is just $22 including GST.

For further information and to register, call +61 8 9382 1312.

Registration closes on 21st May so be quick!

 

ProSafe 2012

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 05, 2012

The 4th Annual "ProSafe" Conference for 2012 will take place in Brisbane (Queensland) this month on 28th-29th May.

The Prosafe 2012 Conference Brochure and Registration details can be found by clicking here.

The Conference has some great speakers, including my ex-colleague from Woodside - Richard Pocock, and personal friend Dan Quick from Chevron, and customer from BHP-days - Robin Wright.  A great line-up of West Aussie HSE experts!

Conference topics being discussed revolve around process safety, operational excellence, Safety in Design, and legal compliance.

Get along to Prosafe 2012 if you can.

 


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