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W W W. A M S J . C O M . A U



11.95 RRP ISSN 1833-3036 PRINT



Avoid costly mistakes Forming relationships Why industry continues
and unnecessary death when disaster strikes to kill workers

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ISSUE # 31 / SUMMER 20 17

If you

are 20







we have mine safety covered thi

P R I N T / D I G I TA L / M O B I L E A.
V I S I T W W W. A M S J.C O M . AU em

Editor lon
Richard Szabo ed

Advertising Executive

Kay Boyd (07)find

Many men 3012
9705 to talk to others about suffering
it difficult
David Bendeich explains how you can ma
Steve Orr, NSW Resource Regulator ensure the safety of workers while limiting
depression. However, the consequences of staying silent can ind
potential liabilities.
Contributors 30 RISKY
mothball into even bigger health problems, according to MentalBUSINESS In t
Safety Dave exposes a variety of common
Illness Fellowship Queenslands Acting CEO Jennifer Pouwer.
Steve Orr, Safe Work Australia, Jennifer 20 IF YOU FEEL DOWN, SAY frie

Pouwer, Tom Haynes, Maria Whitmore, David risk cultures that can exist in the workplace, SOMETHING COVER
Bendeich, Dave Whitefield, Goran Prvulovic, and how to address them. Staying silent can mothball into bigger lati
Daniel Hummerdal, Angela Bradby, Chris health problems, warns Mental Illness
Stephens, Luke Frost, Phil Abernethy, Rod 32 LEADERSHIP AND PATHWAY TO Fellowship Queenslands Acting CEO
Ramsay, David Boger, Said Aminossadati and SAFETY CULTURE Jennifer Pouwer.
Michael Quinlan. Goran Prvulovic shares different perspectives
of safety culture that might surprise you. 24 HEAT STRESS ALERT
Art Director
Lack of preparation can easily lead to
Ronald May 50 AROUND THE WORLD dehydration says Tom Haynes..
In this global village in which we live, it does
Digital Producer not hurt to check-out what the neighbours 26 STAY IN CONTROL OF BLADDER,
Bernie McGrail have been up to in the world of safety. BOWEL AND ERECTILE FUNCTION
ISSN Maria Whitmore says a change of lifestyle
1833-3036 (PRINT)
58 TRAIN OF THOUGHT can help avoid bladder, bowel and erectile
Accommodating the circumstances and
health problems.
needs of each individual worker is just as
important as offering workplace training to
Organisations can utilise hidden talents to
help staff realise their fullest intellectual,
APRS Media Head Oice 60 INNOVATION writes Daniel Hummerdal.
4/31 Thompson St, Bowen Hills, QLD 4006 A premier mineral sands mining company
(07) 3229 5344 has procured new automated bag-filling
technology, writes David Boger.
As threats become more and more complex 56 HOW TO ADDRESS SMELLY WORK
in the modern digitised world, security
SITES systems and solutions must also constantly
Many mine activities can create very
pungent smells, annoying workers and evolve, writes Luke Frost.
(07) 3129 6415
people on neighbouring properties.
Disclaimer: APRS Media is not committed to nor takes
responsibility for the views expressed in articles or
64 LESSONS FROM THE PAST Back injuries are the most common, yet arguably
In an era where we scarcely blink when a one of the most preventable injuries that occur in
advertisements herein. The publishers could not possibly
ensure that each advertisement published in this magazine probe lands on an asteroid, why do major workplaces.
complies with the Trade Practices Act and responsibility
industries continue to kill workers in the
must therefore rest with the person, company or agency
submitting the advertisement for publication.
SPECIAL FEATURES Heavy vehicle safety specialist Chris
Stephens explores why industry understands
12 FEATURE INTERVIEW failures of the past, but continues to repeat
With the Safe Work Australia Team those mistakes in the present.


Tell me about yourself and your back- workers often required to travel long distances
ound in mental health? to find work. All of these factors, coupled with
job insecurity and compounded by the lack of
My initial interest in mental health arose emotional support, often lead to depression
om two distinct experiences working as an and in some instances suicide.
ccupational Therapist: Firstly, working with
hildren and their families experiencing trau- I think in these industries, it is a combination of
a, abuse, grief and loss and, in another role, pressurised and often isolated working condi-
sisting unemployed individuals with mental tions and an environment where conversations
ealth concerns return to work. These clients about how you are feeling are not the norm
cluded Defence veterans as well as everyday and perceived by many men as a sign of weak-
mployees whose mental health concerns ness. The Australian attitude of shell be right
quired reasonable adjustment approaches and getting on with it come at a significant
their employers. cost to the wellness of our workforce.

I moved into senior management and lead- Q. Do you think there is a link between
ship roles, this interest grew as did my ability male-dominated industries and mental
influence policy and service delivery design illness?
thin community managed mental health and
e child protection system. I joined Mental Ill- A. There is definitely a correlation betweenma-

A great choice when

ess Fellowship Queensland in August 2013 as le-dominated industries, such as mining and
rector Services, overseeing service delivery construction and mental illness. The statis-
d policy and practice improvement across tics relating to mental illness amongst FIFO
ur five regions. I have recently stepped into workers, for example, are quite significant. A
e acting CEO role at a time of major mental study by Edith Cowan University revealed in

your safety depends on it

ealth reform at the Commonwealth and 2015 that FIFO workers are twice as likely as
ate level and the introduction of the National the general population to have symptoms of
sability Insurance Scheme. depression, with younger workers aged 18 to
29 being 50 per cent more likely to develop
ke many of us, my own life has been touched depression. Not surprisingly, conditions such
family and friends who have had a formal as anxiety (22 per cent) and stress (19 per cent)
agnosis of a mental illness or are seeking to were also identified as issues in that particular
nderstand and self-manage their own mental study. Another startling finding has been that
ealth concerns, including symptoms, avail- FIFO workers are six times more likely to die
ble supports and treatment options. from suicide than a workplace accident.

Statistics show there is an extremely high Suicide figures within the construction
cidence of mental illness and suicide in the industry are also shocking, with workers twice
onstruction and mining industries. Why is as likely to die by suicide than Australians em-
is? ployed in other industries. Apprentices are two
and a half times more likely to commit suicide
There is a considerable amount of evidence than other young men of the same age.
merging from within these industries that
dicates the high incidence of mental Q. There is still a huge taboo surrounding
ness and suicide correlates with a largely the discussion of mental illness, especially in
LandCruiser 70 Series, built for a tough days work
ale-dominated workforce that often works
ng hours (in some instances for extend-
men. How can we combat this?

d periods of time) and under tight project A. In some respects, there is greater aware-
In the workplace,ness
eadlines. These workers are less likely to have employee
and acceptancesafety
around anxietyis and
de- one. And with a 5-Star
gular medical check-ups or seek help for pression, and this has been the result of some
ANCAP Safety Rating,
ental health concerns as culturally, stig- good workthe LandCruiser
by organisations 70 Single-Cab is up for the job.
that are increasing
a surrounding mental illness continues to their understanding in this space. That said,
Theres Vehicle Stability
ersist, particularly in these male dominated Control
there is still much to be done. toManykeep
men in your drivers rock-solid on
dustries. particular can find it difficult to open-up and
any terrain. Add atalktowing about how they are feeling, as theyup
capacity of fear to 3.5 tonnes and turbo-
the case of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in being vulnerable and are concerned about
ive-out workers, they performance,
can be isolated from and
how they you
will be have
perceived the power to tackle the toughest
by workmates.
ends and families for weeks at a time, result- There is also the fear that their disclosure
g in loneliness andjobs. Fortoaexcessive
often leading workhorse you can
could potentially impact oncount on, LandCruiser 70 Series is
their ongoing

a great choice.
cohol consumption, substance use and re-
ionship breakdowns. Likewise, construction
employment or future opportunities within
their organisation.
ork is cyclical, seasonal and sporadic, with
Visit your Fleet Specialist Dealer or call 1800 444 847


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hen the Australasian Mine Safety The post-incident investigation found the popular but ambiguous concept. Failures
Journal went to print, authorities had man could not quench his thirst no matter or flaws arise from conscious decisions
passed new rules to protect coal how much he drank, a key indicator that by those in charge of workplaces, by
miners from the deadly black lung disease. something is not right. Read more on page governments or those responsible for
24. enforcing safety legislation.
Queensland Parliament recently enacted
a suite of health and safety reforms, We also discuss that back injuries might Read his full list of causes on page 65.
including changes to coal health be the most common injuries that occur
and safety laws that make dust level in workplace, but are also one of the most Regular contributor Rod Ramsay
information publicly available. Health preventable. is exploring resources training in
checks will also be compulsory for Australia, and reveals accommodating
underground and above-ground miners as Angela Bradby writes many workplace the circumstances and needs of each
well as reporting of black lung cases to the back injuries are the result of individual worker is just as important as
State Government. overextending the spine from heavy lifting, offering workplace training to them.
pulling, pushing, or poor posture while
While the move is encouraging for coal sitting for prolonged periods. Back injuries Ramsay discusses resources training in
miners at risk of developing the disease, it at work are often painful and require Australia is as diverse as the industry itself,
still offers little comfort to families whose extended treatment and recovery periods. with thousands of registered providers
beloved have lost their lives to coal-mine- across the country delivering a broad
dust lung disease. At least 18 Queensland She tells the story of Mat, a young curriculum of courses, competencies,
miners have been diagnosed with coal plumbing apprentice, who severely injured certificates, qualifications and tickets
workers pneumoconiosis, which is caused his back on October 12, 2012. He was to people from all walks of life and at
by long-term exposure to respirable coal diagnosed with a back strain and told to different stages in their careers.
dust. rest over the weekend. However, Mat did
not return to work on Monday, in fact he However, training delivery and
Queensland Natural Resources and Mines could not even get out of bed. accessibility within the resources
Minister Dr Anthony Lynham was right on industry is further complicated by remote
the money when he said black lung does Sadly, Mat never returned to plumbing operations, technology upgrades, time
not belong in the 21st Century. Hopefully, again because he had actually crushed constraints, long work hours, shift rosters,
new measures that require each miners and herniated two discs in his back and and fly-in fly-out workforces that are more
chest being x-rayed and examined by at one in his neck, which caused substantial vulnerable to mental illness.
least two medical experts will help prevent nerve damage not back strain as he had
more unnecessary deaths. been originally diagnosed for. In addition to this, competence in this
diverse industry is about more than just
In the meantime, mine workers who are I have had to give up on a career I loved being able to perform a task; it is about
unsure about their respiratory health are and racing my dirt bike. The accident understanding and adapting to your work
encouraged to visit their local General affected my social life; my ego; my environment, communicating well with
Practitioner. Read more about what these confidence everything I loved to do and people around you and applying your skills
changes mean for the industry on page everything that made me who I was, he and knowledge to a variety of situations,
29. says on page 48. such as metal mining, coal mining, civil
construction, quarries and drilling. Read
Even though the worst of the summer In other news, University of New South more on page 58.
heat is behind us, an environmental health Wales Professor Michael Quinlan has
and safety leader interviewed by Tom found a lack of will and not a lack of know- Other must-reads in this edition include
Haynes warns the risk of heat stress is still how is a contributing factor to what he our feature story on SafeWork Australias
cause for concern. describes to be the ten pathways to death latest return to work survey, contractor
and disaster. deaths and how a truck rollover happens
Freo Group HSE Manager Warwick and safety news around the world.
Roe stresses the importance of worker In his book, Ten Pathways to Death and
hydration, heat stress management Disaster Learning from Fatal Incidents in
and education. He also emphasises the Mines and Other High Hazard Workplaces,
importance of electrolytes in preventing he reviews the official investigations into WANT TO CONTRIBUTE?
Wed love to hear you thoughts on any of the stories in
the potentially deadly condition of 23 fatal mine incidents in five countries: this edition. Drop me a line at
hyponatremia, resulting from the Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand or catch up with us on Facebook. And remember,
Australasian Mine Safety Journal welcomes articles
overconsumption of water which dilutes and the United States, between 1992 and research reports from mining professionals across
blood sodium levels. and 2011. The examination revealed 10 Australia for review. We look forward to your submission
recurring pattern causes. for our next edition.

Roe recalls one unfortunate incident back

in 2015 when a worker had worked in Quinlan explores why incidents like fatal
extremely hot conditions and was affected explosions at the Upper Big Branch mine
even though he drank about 10 litres of in the United States and Pike River mine
water throughout the day. in New Zealand, which both killed 29 coal
miners in 2010, are still occurring.
Fortunately, he rang the medical centre Take care,
in camp and they were able to come He writes these repeat incidents often
and get him. He was in quite a bad way arise from strikingly similar causes, or Richard Szabo
and required urgent medical attention, pattern failures. Failures or flaws are not ACTING EDITOR
Warwick says. error or deficiencies in safety culture a / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 9



An effective emergency management response is critical in the event of a mining disaster, and there mining companies need to
adopt recognised incident management processes, writes Steve Orr.

ragic events in Pike River New Zealand Mine operators and emergency service In 2013, the Regulator developed and
and the Hazelwood Mine Fire in Victoria agencies should enter into arrangements implemented Investigation Information
highlight the inherent risks associated using the AIIMS framework in order to Releases. These publications share important
with mining operations, and their often enhance emergency response capabilities safety information with industry following the
complex emergency situations. Although at mining operations. These arrangements occurrence of a serious mining incident. They
the two events are very different, there were should be underpinned by emergency contain information about early investigation
common public findings about the adequacy management training and assessment findings and assist mine operators to prevent
of emergency management responses by programs. similar incidents from occurring in the future.
the mine operators and emergency services
involved. The NSW Resources Regulator is working This approach has been well-received by
closely with mining industry stakeholders the mining and construction industries
Both the Pike River Royal Commission and and emergency service agencies to facilitate plus worker representative bodies. The
Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry recognise the best practice emergency management Regulator receives positive feedback about
need for mining companies to adopt and planning, preparedness and response the publication of this information, and it is
incorporate recognised emergency services capabilities. It is also testing and evaluating even used for mine toolbox talks and training
incident management processes in their these arrangements through the design programs.
mine emergency plans. and facilitation of emergency management
These findings highlight the need for HIGHLIGHTED
regulators and emergency services agencies SHARING EARLY LEARNINGS FROM
to work closely with mine operators INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS Two recent mining industry fatalities in
to develop best practice emergency November and December 2016 were the
management plans that reflect state The Regulator has a strong policy of sharing subject of information releases. They
arrangements, local conditions, site risks and important safety information with the industry highlight the dangers of falling objects.
available resources. and community in a timely manner.
In the first incident a worker was struck by
In Australia, the nationally recognised incident It publishes safety alerts, safety bulletins, a falling steel bucket at an opal mine in the
management system is known as Australasian weekly incident summaries, investigation Mulga Rush Opal Fields west of Lightning
Inter-Service Incident Management System information releases and investigation Ridge.
(AIIMS). This framework is founded on three reports. These provide the industry with
key principles of management by objective, valuable information about incidents, Two workers were mining underground at the
functional management and span of control. circumstances and causation and guidance opal mine using a powered material hoist to raise
about risk control measures. claystone up a 14-metre shaft to the surface.



During hoisting operations investigators Rather than using water to wash out the PROFIL E
suspected the hoist went into an overwind
situation resulting in the hoist cable being
trailer, as had been the usual practice, the
task was undertaken manually.
wound in the wrong direction onto the hoists NSW RESOURCE REGULATOR
winder drum and the bucket unintentionally Steve Orr manages the NSW Resource
being raised to the surface. The soon-to-be deceased worker and two Regulators Major Investigation and
colleagues moved to the rear of the trailer Emergency Response Unit. The unit
was established in 1999 arising from
When the bucket reached the surface, the where the worker used a shovel to lever the recommendations of the Inquiry into the
hoist hydraulic system caused it to remain in tailgate open after its latching mechanism Gretley Disaster: www.resourcesandenergy.
a static position suspended above the shaft.
was released. The two colleagues then
In this position, the hoists hydraulic and and-health/about-us/mine-safety-initiatives/
electrical system continued to operate and lifted the tailgate high enough to allow the gretley-inquiry
prevented the bucket from falling. worker to prop the tailgate open using a pipe In this role, Steve leads a team of specialist
spanner. investigators and emergency management
personnel. Steve and his team work closely
While the bucket was stationary on the head
with all stakeholders during critical incident
frame above the shaft, one worker climbed
During this process the tailgate fell and struck investigations and emergency response
into the sump at the bottom of the shaft to situations.
the workers head. He suffered critical head
clean-out earth and material from the base of
The unit prepares investigation reports for
the sump (caused by material spillage). injuries and died later. Both incidents remind
the Secretary of the NSW Department of
us about the dangers of falling objects and Industry and NSW Coroner.
During the task investigators suspected the highlight the importance of the hierarchy of The unit also works closely with the mine
worker had bumped the lower limit switch, controls in eliminating or minimising risk. safety inspectorate in the development and
which deactivated the hoists electrical and implementation of the Regulators Incident
hydraulic power, causing the bucket to free- Prevent Strategy: www.resourcesandenergy.
fall down the shaft at speed without hydraulic Since 2013, the Regulator has published 25
information releases. Further information file/0003/657804/Implementing-the-
about other safety investigations undertaken
The bucket collided with the worker and he The Regulator is responsible for the
by the Regulator can be found here: www. regulation of work health and safety at mine
suffered fatal injuries. and petroleum sites across the state. Further
information about the Regulator can be
In the second incident, a worker was hit by a found here: www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.
falling semi-trailer tailgate while attempting to incident-updates
clean out residual coal that had built up in a trailer. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 11




Return to work
stats show divide
between states
Safe Work Australias latest data shows a significant divide between the states when it comes to injured workers
returning to work in the mining sector.

Compared to other industries, how does in the table below. Please note, the data set
mining fare in terms of work injuries? for the RTW Survey only had a sample size There are a number of factors that could
of 68 workers for the mining industry. influence the RTW rates in different
Safe Work Australia (SWA) data shows that jurisdictions, including industry mix and
mining has a relatively low incidence rate differences in workers compensation
of claims (claims per 1000 employees) HISTORICAL legislation between states and territories.
for serious injuries, those resulting in SAMPLE %
absence from work of one working week Improving recovery and RTW outcomes
RTW 92
or more, compared to other high hazard for workers is a major objective of all
industries like agriculture, construction, Current RTW 77 state and territory workers compensation
manufacturing and transport. 3 month RTW 58 authorities, with a number of initiatives
being undertaken at the jurisdictional and
Mining has also shown the greatest national level.
decrease in incidence rates over the last 10 Explanatory notes:
years (see page 29 of Australian Workers For example, South Australia (SA)
Compensation Statistics 2013-14: www. RTW proportion of injured workers introduced new workers compensation who had returned to work at any time legislation, which came into effect in July
Publications/Documents/961/Australian- since the claim was lodged. 2015. It is worth noting the latest RTW
Workers-Compensation-Statistics-2013-14. Current RTW proportion of injured survey was too soon after the SA legislation
PDF workers who were back at work at the came into effect to see whether it has
time of the interview. resulted in improved RTW rates in SA.
However, mining has the highest median Three month RTW proportion of
time lost (7.8 weeks in 2012-13) of any injured workers who were back at work What do these statistics mean for
industry once a claim is made for a serious at the time of the survey and who had business?
injury (see page 38 of Australian Workers been working for a continuous period
Compensation Statistics 2013-14). The of at least three months. Businesses can see that there is still
reason for this is unclear it could be Historical sample injured workers opportunity to improve return to work rates.
because there is less scope for mine with 10 or more days absence from The longer an injured worker is off-work,
operators to provide mine workers with work and who had submitted a claim the less likely it is they will return to work.
suitable alternative duties during recovery seven to nine months prior to the
compared to other industries, and that mine survey.
workers are therefore expected to be fully Each year more than 20 per cent of workers
recovered before resuming work after an RTW rates are higher than average in with an injury resulting in 10 or more days
injury. Victoria, NSW and Tasmania while the off work, are still off work seven to nine
RTW rate is lower than average in SA, WA, months after their claim was lodged.
The 2016 National Return to Work (RTW) Qld and the NT. Why is there a disparity This represents a huge costs to workers
Survey rate for the mining industry is shown between results in different states? compensation schemes and businesses.




Workers reminded
to wear A seatbelt
after truck rolls
Mine workers have been reminded to wear a seatbelt while operating
or driving vehicles.

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines

(DNRM) is asking all mine workers to wear a seatbelt while operating
or driving a vehicle. It comes after a trainee operator was recently
thrown from the cabin during a truck roll over accident.

The trainee had been reversing a 27-tonne articulated dump truck

to tip a load of wet sand in a stockpile area. However, the right-hand
rear wheels rode up onto the edge of an existing stockpile and the
load in the tub shifted, tipping the trailer onto its side and rocking
the cab violently.

The operator was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident
and was thrown about in the cab, first striking and breaking the
drivers window and then striking, breaking and falling through
the passenger side window to the ground. The operator suffered
lacerations to his arm and head which required hospital treatment.

Unfortunately incidents where the tubs of articulated trucks have

tipped over during tipping are too common and the Department
has previously issued Safety Alert #276 Articulated Dump Truck
When moving Heavy
Rollover, DNRM chief inspector of mines Phil Goode says.
Loads - comfort
equals Safety.
The risks of operating articulated trucks are generally well-
understood and most operations combine operator training,
procedures and standard work instructions to control these.

However, investigations into tipping incidents regularly find
effectiveness of controls compromised by the operations failure to
implement and enforce them.

DNRM recommends:

trainees gaining operation experience must be always

Everyday demands are increasing, Safety is important.
adequately supervised to ensure relevant site procedures and To achieve Safety you require comfort.
requirements are being followed.
ensure operator training covers hazards of driving, including
Make sure you have an ISRI Seat.
reversing, over terrain that can affect the cross grade and lead
to instability of the vehicle.
site senior executives and supervisors must ensure site rules
and procedures are effective and enforced
mine operators must ensure audits of the safety and health
management system focus on the effectiveness of the hazard
controls, associated procedures and standard work instructions.

DNRM asks all proponents to place this announcement on

Seating - on a higher level.
noticeboards and ensure all relevant people receive a copy: www.
truck-roll-over / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 131



It also has a significant impact on the early injury reporting and early claim
physical, psychological, social and financial
health of the injured worker.
avoiding disputes, where possible
What can businesses do to help improve
RTW rates, in terms of prevention versus
ixing? More information on the role of the worker

Benefits of improving safe and sustainable in improving RTW rates can be found in
RTW outcomes include better health and
the Safe Work Australia publication Return
wellbeing outcomes for injured workers as PROFILE
well as reduced costs for both employers
and workers compensation schemes.
to Work Survey: Role of the Employer and
Employers play an important role in
supporting a worker to RTW following an sites/swa/about/publications/pages/rtw- Safe Work Australia (SWA) is the body
injury. leading the development of national policy to
survey-role-employer-workplace-2013 improve work health and safety and workers
compensation across Australia. The interests
Factors which have a positive influence on
of the Commonwealth, states and territories
RTW outcomes include early contact and as well as workers and employers in Australia
employer support at the time the worker Jurisdictional workers compensation
are all represented. Together SWA will
was injured as well as during recovery. regulators and insurers have a range of work to achieve healthier, safer and more
Workers satisfaction with their employer productive workplaces through improvements
has also been found to have an important resources available on their websites to Australian work health and safety and
influence on RTW following injury. workers compensation arrangements.
to assist businesses in returning their

Other effective approaches to improving workers to work earlier and safely. SWA SWA is responsible for coordinating and
RTW rates include: developing national policy and strategies,
has published case studies highlighting
developing and maintaining model work,
employers responding positively to exemplary organisational systems and health and safety (WHS) laws, undertaking
injuries by making an effort to find research and collecting, analysing and
suitable duties and aiding the worker practices for early interventions and return reporting data. SWA works collaboratively
with WHS authorities, industry groups and
in their recovery to work: unions to achieve the national vision of
a positive and respectful workplace
healthy, safe and productive working lives.
culture prior to the injury in terms sites/swa/workers-compensation/rtw-case-
of fairness, supervisor support, and
policies and practices
improving systems to encourage




oversights / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 15


Things that
go wrong
any years ago I owned a Labour Hire INCIDENT 2. Incident 2 seems to me to be very difficult
business. It was an interesting few to avoid, the organisation involved is a large
We had a number of people working in a
years and ultimately I lost interest in public company and their service record
major Australian manufacturing company
it for a variety of reasons including Workers was impeccable. I cant see how we could
and the call of nature was upon one of them.
Compensation claims. I thought you might have done anything about this thus the term
find it interesting to read of some of the He left his workstation and walked to the
Reasonably Practicable comes into play.
claims we faced. We were not an RTO back bathroom. As he walked along the designated
If you are not sure what that means then
then and I now believe had we been more walkway he passed a boiler which exploded, perhaps you might like to research the Work
OHS/WHS savvy we could have avoided most sending him across the walkway and into Health and Safety Act 2011 (https://www.
of the incidents. Here are some of the things the wall. He was hurt but thankfully largely
that did go wrong. uninjured. Our risk assessment did not cover
this contingency nor did the host employers. Incident 3 should have been negated by a
INCIDENT 1. Hazard control being put into position by
INCIDENT 3. the host employer; steel corners are sharp
We had 2 workers with a not for profit
We had a group of workers in with a large and obviously dangerous. I also believe we
organisation which, as an income producing
retailer and their task was to put all the should have been more thorough in our risk
activity, collected glass at the roadside. Our
clothing out overnight ready for the post- assessment which should have identified this
2 workers were at their depot and the task
Christmas sale. One of our people bent over possibility of injury.
was to take the glass and tip it manually into
a hopper that then flailed the glass into small in the stock room and as she did so she hit Your workplace is definitely far more
particles which were bagged and on sold for her head on the corner of some shelving. This dangerous than the above environments
recycling to glass manufacturers. was a serious incident that involved surgery so please make sure you take every
and rehabilitation that went on for a very long opportunity to talk to your Health and Safety
I received a call stating one of our people was
time. Representative of any potential risks you see
in hospital undergoing surgery to resew some
around you and your work mates. Nothing
fingers on to his hand. I drove to the hospital Looking at these 3 incidents all these years
you contribute will be regarded as silly and
and, once he was well enough to chat I asked later I wonder if training would have made a
your contribution may just allow someone to
him what happened. He replied the hopper difference? Clearly Incident 1 was something
go home to their family tomorrow.
got stuck so I put my hand in to clear it out. I that should never have happened, with due
used my other hand to push the dead mans respect to the person involved who would So we start a new year called 2017 and all of
switch so I could tell when it was cleared. want to put their hand in a hopper that flails us at HBA hope you have a very Safe year, we
I was staggered by this and asked him why glass? I think we should have paid more hope we play a part in keeping you safe.
he did this instead of calling the supervisor attention to this persons induction to the site
over. His response I dont know bro, I guess I Harold Baldry
and the equipment as this could easily have
wasnt thinking. been avoided.

Visit and call 1300 721 503 and

to find out how we can make a difference.


We also offer courses in:

Training and Assessment

Safety is Everybodys Project Management

Leadership and Management

Reponsibility! Quality Auditing

You work on a mine site so you know what it is like: there are potential hazards
everywhere and each one can cause injury, death or loss.

Too busy to do a course? We have the solution!

For busy people we offer courses with three different delivery models:
On your site (6 or more people)
In a classroom

BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety

BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety
BSB60615 Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety

HBA Learning Centres

Nationally Recognised Qualifications/Multiple Locations Australia-Wide

1300 721 503 RTO 31261
Sydney | Melbourne | Gold Coast | Canberra | Adelaide | Darwin | Perth


Australian Occupational Health and Safety legislation demands that all hazards in the workplace be identified
and risk managed to protect workers. This ensures the safety of the workers in tandem with limiting the
potential liabilities of a company, writes David Bendeich

rom 2012 to 2013 the economic cost of also known as slip hazards. The protocol for It is necessary for a company to protect
work related incidents in Australia was a adhering to and avoiding the possibility of their staff by utilising appropriate guards on
staggering $61.8 billion, according to Safe slip and trip hazards is simply identifying the all machinery including cargo nets, wheel
Work Australia. problem areas and fixing them. safety chocks, reflective tape and protective
Steps to avoid physical slip and trip hazards padding as well as personal protective gear.
It is necessary for companies to be aware of include keeping your workplace tidy, storing
common oversights already present within all materials appropriately, using anti-slip In addition, it is always advisable to mandate
their Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) mats, anti-slip plates and anti-slip tapes. periodic inspections and testings of all
protocols. With that in mind, here are five Additional items to be considered include machinery in a production facility. This
OHS oversights that can easily be avoided. labeling differing floor heights, keeping the consistent monitoring can help to limit
workplace well-lit at all times, and ensuring the amount of unexpected malfunctions
PREPARE A RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN that workers have the appropriate training while also maintaining a high standard of
and footwear applicable to their role and production for any type of equipment in the
Every business should identify all hazards in environment. plant.
their workplace, assess how serious each risk
is and then outline how to minimise it. The FIREPROOF YOUR WORKPLACE STAFF CONSULTATION
first task is to design a risk management plan
that is based upon and prepared through the Fire prevention is one of the most important The single, most informative way to avoid
consultation of current onsite staff. protocols to adhere to in the workplace. It OHS issues is for the company to listen to
is necessary that every company has a fire their staff the people who operate the plant
Next, implement the appropriate training emergency and evacuation plan. As always, and who are hands-on in the environment.
necessary to put the plan into action. An it is the companys prerogative to ensure
efficient risk management plan can give a that all staff are made well aware of potential All workers should be able to identify
company piece of mind through assessing all fire hazards and adequately trained in how dangers associated with their work. Although
possible risks specific to its production facility. to respond during a fire-related emergency. consultation is a two-way street, many
It is advisable to invest in high-quality fire workplaces do the paperwork but do not
Additionally, risks may vary and change over extinguishers and fire blankets, keep them follow through with training or ongoing
time within different industries of production. easily accessible and train staff in how to use consultation.
Due to the possibility of additional risk, it is them.
advisable to reassess the case specific risk By keeping consultations between staff and
management plan every six to 12 months to SECURE THE PLANT management regarding OHS consistent, a
ensure that no potential hazards have gone company is guaranteed to limit the amount of
overlooked. Production plants that have not been secured potentially hazardous risks in the workplace.
properly can cause fatal injuries. Injuries
MANAGE SLIP HAZARDS may include cargo slipping, wheels moving,
getting caught in machinery and overturning
One of the most common hazards in any vehicles.
type of workplace are injuries through falling PROFILE

David Bendeich is the National Sales and
Marketing Manager at ovesco. Utilising
practical lessons learnt from an engineering
trade background, David has employed the
same basics to develop his logical approach
to customer focus through sales and marketing.
Since starting work at ovesco (www.ovesco. in 2003, he has promoted the
company brand and way it aligns itself with
the range of products sold, and customers
they sell to.


SINCE 1992.



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Cirlock are very versatile devices which can be used to
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circuit breakers or fuse holders.
The devices are available as standard with one or two
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cable for use where metal cannot be used (i.e. electrical
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6m or 15m, making these devices suitable for locking out
multiple points with one lock. Accommodates up to four


The full range of Cirlock products are available from your local Electrical Wholesaler. T 07 5445 2910


If you
Many men find it difficult to talk to others about suffering
depression. However, the consequences of staying silent can
mothball into even bigger health problems, according to Mental
Illness Fellowship Queenslands Acting CEO Jennifer Pouwer.


Q. Tell me about yourself and your back- workers often required to travel long distances
ground in mental health? to find work. All of these factors, coupled with
job insecurity and compounded by the lack of
A. My initial interest in mental health arose emotional support, often lead to depression
from two distinct experiences working as an and in some instances suicide.
Occupational Therapist: Firstly, working with
children and their families experiencing trau- I think in these industries, it is a combination of
ma, abuse, grief and loss and, in another role, pressurised and often isolated working condi-
assisting unemployed individuals with mental tions and an environment where conversations
health concerns return to work. These clients about how you are feeling are not the norm
included Defence veterans as well as everyday and perceived by many men as a sign of weak-
employees whose mental health concerns ness. The Australian attitude of shell be right
required reasonable adjustment approaches and getting on with it come at a significant
by their employers. cost to the wellness of our workforce.

As I moved into senior management and lead- Q. Do you think there is a link between
ership roles, this interest grew as did my ability male-dominated industries and mental
to influence policy and service delivery design illness?
within community managed mental health and
the child protection system. I joined Mental Ill- A. There is definitely a correlation betweenma-
ness Fellowship Queensland in August 2013 as le-dominated industries, such as mining and
Director Services, overseeing service delivery construction and mental illness. The statis-
and policy and practice improvement across tics relating to mental illness amongst FIFO
our five regions. I have recently stepped into workers, for example, are quite significant. A
the acting CEO role at a time of major mental study by Edith Cowan University revealed in
health reform at the Commonwealth and 2015 that FIFO workers are twice as likely as
State level and the introduction of the National the general population to have symptoms of
Disability Insurance Scheme. depression, with younger workers aged 18 to
29 being 50 per cent more likely to develop
Like many of us, my own life has been touched depression. Not surprisingly, conditions such
by family and friends who have had a formal as anxiety (22 per cent) and stress (19 per cent)
diagnosis of a mental illness or are seeking to were also identified as issues in that particular
understand and self-manage their own mental study. Another startling finding has been that
health concerns, including symptoms, avail- FIFO workers are six times more likely to die
able supports and treatment options. from suicide than a workplace accident.

Q. Statistics show there is an extremely high Suicide figures within the construction
incidence of mental illness and suicide in the industry are also shocking, with workers twice
construction and mining industries. Why is as likely to die by suicide than Australians em-
this? ployed in other industries. Apprentices are two
and a half times more likely to commit suicide
A. There is a considerable amount of evidence than other young men of the same age.
emerging from within these industries that
indicates the high incidence of mental Q. There is still a huge taboo surrounding
illness and suicide correlates with a largely the discussion of mental illness, especially in
male-dominated workforce that often works men. How can we combat this?
long hours (in some instances for extend-
ed periods of time) and under tight project A. In some respects, there is greater aware-
deadlines. These workers are less likely to have ness and acceptance around anxiety and de-
regular medical check-ups or seek help for pression, and this has been the result of some
mental health concerns as culturally, stig- good work by organisations that are increasing
ma surrounding mental illness continues to their understanding in this space. That said,
persist, particularly in these male dominated there is still much to be done. Many men in
industries. particular can find it difficult to open-up and
talk about how they are feeling, as they fear
In the case of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in being vulnerable and are concerned about
drive-out workers, they can be isolated from how they will be perceived by workmates.
friends and families for weeks at a time, result- There is also the fear that their disclosure
ing in loneliness and often leading to excessive could potentially impact on their ongoing
alcohol consumption, substance use and re- employment or future opportunities within
lationship breakdowns. Likewise, construction their organisation.
work is cyclical, seasonal and sporadic, with / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 21



small, in our workplaces, and amongst our will be supported and not judged or penalised Building resilience is also the key. This gives
own networks of friends and family members. in any way for having the courage to speak up. the ability to assess and consider negative
Asking people how they are, and having open situations as opportunities to learn, grow and
conversations about mental health and sharing Q. What are some tips for workers who arent develop, rather than challenges that cannot be
experiences, normalises mental illness and sure how to approach the mental health overcome. This might mean changing the way
reduces stigma. Leadership is required by our conversation, whether it be themselves things are usually done or learning a new skill
governments and employers alike. Its not suf- suffering, or their mates? or approach in response to whatever is going
ficient to hold a training session about mental on in life.
health if organisations are not then creating A. Dont be afraid to talk about it; talking open-
a workplace environment where employees ly about mental illness, and the impact it has, If you would like to discuss mental health
feel comfortable to let someone know they improves a persons ability to recover. If youre and wellbeing in your workplace, please
are finding things really difficult and may need worried about someone but dont feel confi- contact Jennifer Pouwer of MIFQ on 07 3358
help. Managers and supervisors also have to dent about talking to them, find someone who 4424 or via email at
develop the confidence and skills needed to is comfortable speaking with them instead.
identify and approach a staff member they are
concerned about and ask the right questions, Other options include seeking support from
listen and offer their support. their General Practitioner (GP). GPs might
develop a mental health plan with a person,
Q. Do you think companies are doing enough which can assist them to get access to a
in regards to mental health support? psychologist and other services that can help
to improve their mental health.
A. There is always more that can be done to re-
duce stigma around mental illness and provid- There are also a number of telephone help-
ing mentally healthy workplaces is a positive lines, apps and online supports available,
start. There is definitely increasing awareness which have been developed to support mental
among Australian businesses about the cost health. Most workplaces also have an EAP
of mental illness in terms of absenteeism, pre- (Employee Assistance Program) that staff can
senteeism and compensation claims. A recent access confidentially.
PricewaterhouseCoopers mental health report
estimated in 2014 that mental illness costs Q. Can you share some tips on how workers
Australian businesses approximately $11 billion can improve their mental health?
per annum. This same report highlighted the
return on investment for successfully creating A. Identify what works for you and put some PROFIL E
simple strategies in place to look after yourself.
a mentally healthy workplace is positive at
2.3 that is, for every $1 spent, there is an JENNIFER POUWER
average $2.30 of benefits to be gained.
Jennifer Pouwer is a senior executive
spending time with friends and family and with extensive experience in general
MIFQ recently launched its own mental health
management through key leadership roles
education and training initiative called intuitis, maintaining social networks
in service facing, policy and regulatory,
which offers workplace programs for staff and within Commonwealth and State Government
managers alike. We have found the level of looking after physical health by exercis- portfolios and the non-government sector.
interest for this type of training is increasing ing, eating healthy foods and consuming
across all sectors. Organisations are not only enough water
Her role scope has included the diverse
wanting to educate their staff but also change and complex human service portfolios of
their workplace culture, so that staff feel they maintaining intellectual and spiritual con-
child protection, disability employment and
can speak to their manager or a work col- nections, such as taking time out to read
vocational rehabilitation services as well as
league if they are feeling overwhelmed or are a book, complete a crossword, undertake community mental health, health, aged care,
not coping. Employees need to know that they mindfulness or wellbeing activities or utilise community services and consulting services.
online apps


Make Mental Health
Your Priority
Have you noticed a change in the behaviour of a colleague or
team member? Are they irritable, indecisive or exhausted? They
could be the one in every three remote workers that experience
mental illness.

Together with its rewards, working in the mining industry can

be challenging, with a higher rate of mental illness, coupled with
social isolation and a high risk work environment. Did you know
though that your actions can make a difference? Research has
shown that a supportive workplace environment can help tackle
mental health problems head on.

Rio Tinto has taken great strides to understanding the mental

health and wellbeing challenges faced by their workforce at
its Weipa bauxite mine, on Cape York. There is nothing more
important than every single one of our people going home
safely after their shift, said Rio Tinto General Manager, Weipa
Operations, Dan van der Westhuizen. Mental health is an
integral part of their personal wellbeing and safety, and we
recognise that as an employer. We have a key role to play to help
create a supportive and mentally healthy workplace.

Recognising the need for further training and support, Rio Tinto
Weipa teamed up with the Black Dog Institute. The training
workshops run by the Black Dog Institute helped to build
capacity in frontline leaders to:

help recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness

talk about mental health
appropriately support team members with a mental illness
promote self-care and wellbeing in a busy environment.

The Black Dog Institute also provides a range of factsheets,

videos and online tools.

So to find out how you can make a difference in your workplace,


Take action.


heat stress and
A lack of preparation can easily lead to dehydration that can prove fatal for onsite
workers. However, there are some simple steps each workplace can take to prevent
unnecessary danger, writes Tom Haynes.


HIGH TEMPERATURES PROMPT SAFETY Employers must provide their workers with heat and sun
WARNING IN QUEENSLAND protection, as well as general sun safety tips. However,
employees should also speak up if they are concerned that they
by Stephen Kariahe are working in an unsafe, hot environment.
Content Writer at SafetyCulture
If you or your workmates are struggling in excessive heat or
With hot temperatures expected across Queensland, employers high humidity, do not stall talk to your supervisor immediately.
are being warned to protect workers from heat stress. Employers must ensure workers wear protective gear including
a hat and sunscreen, take adequate breaks, seek shade and
Head of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Dr. Simon keep hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke, fainting,
Blackwood says there is a need for employers to plan ahead and cramps.
and protect workers from heat stress during the hot summer
months. Workplace Health and Safety Queenslands managing the work
environment and facilities code of practice provides guidance
A heat stress tool to help predict if heat-induced illness is likely is for managing the risks associated with outdoor work.
available on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website.
For more information on how to protect your workers this
I urge bosses to look after their staff this summer and use summer, visit or call the Workplace
this basic thermal risk assessment tool when it comes to heat- Health and Safety Queensland Infoline on 1300 369 915.
related illness, Blackwood says.
Photo credit: SafetyCulture Library

safety manager working on a major implementing industrial hydration solutions electrolytes for optimum hydration in harsh
construction project in the northwest provider, THORZTs scientific-backed Australian conditions.
of Western Australia has stressed the hydration and heat stress management
importance of worker hydration, heat stress program has been embraced by workers.
management and education. It is claimed to be:
We have been running it for over two years low in sugar or sugar free
Freo Group HSE Manager Warwick Roe now and it is a great program, Warwick says. gluten free
emphasises the importance of electrolytes caffeine free
in preventing the potentially deadly It comes in at an angle that tries to proprietary electrolyte formula
condition of hyponatremia, resulting from understand what the industry is about and containing essential amino acids
the overconsumption of water which dilutes the needs of the workers themselves. That is
blood sodium levels. why it fits so well.

We did have a case of hyponatremia last For me it gives scientific validation of the
summer and other companies working process and it has better depth of meaning
onsite also had a few cases, he says. than what other companies are offering.

Roe recalled one unfortunate incident back EDUCATING WORKERS IS THE KEY
in 2015 when one worker had worked in
extremely hot conditions and was affected, Warwick revealed how having THORZTs
even though he drank about 10 litres of hydration and heat stress education
water throughout the day. delivered by professional athletes resonates
with workers, and that it has also resulted
Fortunately, he rang the medical centre in in widespread acceptance of urine specific
camp and they were able to come and get gravity (USG) hydration testing.
him. He was in quite a bad way and required
urgent medical attention, Warwick says. The THORZT program allows management
to track, monitor and provide feedback to
The post-incident investigation found the the workforce. The success of the program TOM HAYNES
man could not quench his thirst no matter means Freo Group will be ramping-up KUDOS MEDIA
how much he drank, a key indicator that testing in the warmer months.
Tom Haynes is the director of Kudos Media,
something is not right. a Sydney content marketing agency. He has
Warwick adds that in addition to drinking enjoyed an extensive media career, which
MALNUTRITION IS A FACTOR the correct fluids, other hydration and heat has seen awards and accolades for his work
stress offerings like electrolyte Icy Poles and as a journalist and editor. He loves to tell a
Heat stress is another issue on the Freo site, cooling products also play a part in reducing good story.
according to Warwick, who reveals workers heat stress onsite.
with poor diet and physical fitness are most Phone: 1300 304 950
at risk, as are those at the beginning of a THORZT is promised to be a great tasting,
swing. scientifically proven mix of cutting-edge
branch chain amino acids and low Gi Website:
He stresses that training and education carbohydrates for sustained energy release,
is critical to managing risks, saying how combined with a formulated blend of / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 25



Stay in
of bladder
bowel and
For whatever reasons, the prospect of an earlier death than
women from preventable diseases has yet to convince some men
to improve their lifestyles. Perhaps the prospect of bladder, bowel
and erectile consequences might provide further motivation, writes
Maria Whitmore.


ale deaths outnumber female deaths And if theyre not drinking enough, their In the past the focus has been on women
across all age groups until they reach urine gets concentrated and irritates the doing their pelvic floor exercises, but we
65-plus, but that is only because bladder, which tries to get rid of it. That now know that they have benefits for men in
so many men are dead before reaching causes frequency and urgency. conditions associated with prostate disease
this age. and erectile dysfunction. There is good
Marburg warns drinking too many caffeine research telling us they can be effective
Men visit the doctor less often than or sugar-based fizzy drinks can irritate the in the treatment of premature ejaculation
women, and only go when their condition bladder too. (Pastore et al, 2014) and erectile dysfunction
is advanced. According to data from the (Dory et al, 2005).
Australian Bureau of Statistics back in And alcohol, which is a diuretic, [should]
2008, some of the most common causes only [be consumed] in moderation, he says. Recent Australian research has found that
of premature death among men are heart men who perform pelvic floor exercises
attacks, strokes, respiratory disease, Constipation is another significant issue, before prostate surgery regain their
diabetes and lung, colon, rectum and particularly if men do not drink or exercise continence earlier than men who start them
prostate cancers. enough, or eat too many processed foods. after surgery (Chang et al, 2015).

Perhaps an added incentive for taking Not many people realise that constipation TOILET TRAINING COULD BE THE KEY
better care might be the knowledge that has a big impact on the bladder. A full
certain habits like those prescribed by compacted bowel can push up against the The final step for bladder and bowel health
the Continence Foundation of Australia for bladder, risking accidental leakage which is was the development of good toilet habits.
healthy bladders and bowels also lower the urge incontinence, Marburg says. You should only have to go urinate four
chance of developing erectile dysfunction to six times a day, and perhaps once
and incontinence. And straining on the toilet when you
overnight, Marburg says.
are constipated can stretch and weaken
the pelvic floor muscles, much like
Healthy habits for warding off some of most The normal range of bowel motion
overstretched elastic. These muscles are
common killer diseases are essentially the frequency, he says, is anywhere between
really important for continence.
same as those for promoting good bladder three times a day to three times a week, and
and bowel health which equates to a MUSCULAR DAMAGE IS A POSSIBLE the best time to go is as soon as the urge is
better chance of living with full control of CONSEQUENCE felt.
bladder, bowel and erectile function.
Pelvic floor muscles could also be stretched This urge is the gastrocolic reflex - the mass
LACK OF AWARENESS IS TO BLAME and damaged as the result of being movement of contents through the bowel,
overweight or by ongoing, excessive heavy and it happens about 10 to 30 minutes after
Continence nurse advisor and National lifting. a meal, most strongly felt after breakfast,
Continence Helpline coordinator Stephen Marburg says.
Marburg says men are often unaware of the Marburg describes the pelvic floor muscles
impact lifestyle habits had on their bladder as trampoline-shaped and stretching from The stool should not be too hard, and
and bowel. the tailbone to the pubic bone, and between should come out relatively easily. If you hold
both sitting bones. on too long, the urge will pass and you risk
Drinking enough fluids is a big issue, constipation.
particularly for men working long hours with They are responsible for holding up the
few breaks. If the urine is darker than pale pelvic organs and closing off the urinary Marburg also recommended the use of a
lemon colour, theyre not drinking enough, and anal sphincters. They also play a role in foot-stool for adopting the correct sitting
he says. gaining and maintaining erections, he says. position leaning forward with knees higher
than the hips which straightens out the / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 27

Five steps to healthy bladders and
bowels, as recommended by the
Continence Foundation of Australia,
Drinking well
Eating healthy
Keeping active
Toning your pelvic floor
Practicing good toilet habits

colon and makes it easier for the bowel to be improved, if not cured, he says.
Marburg urges men with any bladder
CONCERNED MEN ARE SEEKING HELP or bowel concerns to visit their General
Practitioner or speak to one of the
Marburg reveals that around 30 per cent continence nurse advisors on the free and PROFILE
of calls to the Helpline are from men, who
are often highly embarrassed about their
confidential National Continence Helpline by
phoning 1800 330 066.
incontinence problems.
Visit for more
Remember, you are not alone and there is information. For instructions on male pelvic Maria Whitmore is editor and journalist
a lot of help out there. While incontinence is floor exercises, log onto at the Continence Foundation of Australia
not normal at any age, in most cases it can (CFA), the peak body for continence
promotion, management and advocacy.
CFAs mission is to represent the interests
REFERENCES of Australians affected by, or at risk of,
bladder and bowel control problems and
Pastore A.L. et al (2014). Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong act as an advocate for their interests. CFA
premature ejaculation: A novel therapeutic approach, Abstract at the 29th Annual EAU is supported by the Australian Government
Congress. Department of Health under the National
Continence Program.
Dorey G1, Speakman MJ, Feneley RC, Swinkels A, Dunn CD. (2005), Pelvic floor
For more information email m.whitmore@
exercises for erectile dysfunction. BJU Int. 2005 Sep;96(4):595-7. or phone 03 9347 2522
and visit




Laws finally changed to protect

miners against black lung
Authorities have yielded to widespread concerns about the horrifying effects of black lung, and passed new rules to protect
Queensland coal miners from the deadly disease, writes Richard Szabo.
Queensland Parliament will make a suite of health and safety reforms Under the new regulations:
become law from 1 January 2017. All new coal mine workers will undergo a health assessment,
Changes have been made to coal health and safety laws that including respiratory function and chest x-ray examinations, on
will make dust level information publicly available. As part of the entry into the industry enabling doctors to detect changes
changes, health checks will be compulsory for underground and that may occur over time
above-ground miners as well as reporting of black lung cases to the Above-ground coal mine workers will undergo a chest x-ray and
State Government. respiratory function test at least once every 10 years. If they
These regulatory changes are a critical element of our commitment have worked underground, it will be at least every five years
to detect and prevent all forms of coal mine dust lung disease Companies will be required to provide dust monitoring data to
including coal workers pneumoconiosis, Queensland Natural the mines inspectorate every three months
Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham says.
An advisory committee of industry, union and government
This is a disease that does not belong in the 21st Century, and I am representatives will review the data and it will be published
determined to continue to work with industry, unions and doctors online
to protect our coal miners. This system ensures every workers chest
Black lung will become a notifiable disease, meaning mining
x-ray is examined independently by at least two medical experts.
companies must report known cases to the queensland mines
I encourage any mine worker past or present who has concerns inspectorate
about their respiratory health to see their doctor.
Coal mine workers permanently retiring from the industry can
Eighteen Queensland miners have been diagnosed with coal now ask their employer for a retirement examination, including
workers pneumoconiosis, which is caused by long-term exposure to respiratory function and chest x-ray examination
respirable coal dust.
Chest x-ray examinations to be performed in accordance with
Following introduction of the dual reading screening system in July international labour organisation guidelines
2016, more than 2000 coal mine worker chest x-rays have been read
Tougher regulations are part of the three-pronged approach
first by an Australian radiologist and sent to be read by the National
announced in july to:
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Prevent new cases of coal workers pneumoconiosis
Identify existing cases early
Provide a safety net for workers with the disease


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Email: Fax: 1300 302 065 Ph: 1300 787 473 / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 291


What is your risk

culture like?
Safety Dave exposes a variety of common risk cultures that can exist in the workplace, and how to address them.

LETS START WITH CULTURE Do workers behave differently during night in where and are and who we are with; why
shift compared to day shift? Does behaviour night shift can have a different but consistent
Culture presents a paradox for most change in the lead-up to a big audit? These set of behaviours even though different
organisations and people in that it is easy all show that behaviour varies within the people work it; and why people react the way
to talk about but difficult to define. That is, culture of the organisation or group. In fact, they do in the lead-up to audits. In essence, it
most people can readily comment about culture is typically very difficult to change, so is because they have either learnt to or been
what the culture of their organisation is like it is not culture changing before an audit; it is taught to.
(good, bad, toxic, positive etc.). However, if people implementing solutions.
asked to define it many struggle and, in my YOUR RISK CULTURE
experience, they typically default to the idea CULTURE IS ABOUT SHARED BELIEFS
of culture being about behaviour. So your risk culture, a subculture of the
An alternate view (from behaviour) is that broader organisational culture, is about
The most common culture as behaviour culture is about the shared underlying the beliefs and shared assumptions that
definition is culture is what we do around assumptions that drive behaviour at a exist in relation to risk not the risk related
here. This idea is convenient in that it group level. These shared underlying behaviour. To identify risk culture you need
provides a nice and simple definition to assumptions are group based beliefs about to look behind the behaviour to discover the
something we might sense as being complex the organisation that have been developed assumptions and beliefs driving it.
but, in the end, it is too simplistic to be useful. over time in response to internal and external
It implies that to understand the culture of an challenges and, importantly, they are There will be further discussion about how
organisation, all I would have to do is observe considered to be valid enough by the group you can do this soon but, to give a bit more
the behaviour but this tosses-up a number of to be passed onto others. of an idea, these are the types of things I am
issues. interested in discovering to help uncover the
In this world, culture is messy and complex. risk culture of an organisation:
WHAT ABOUT NIGHT SHIFT? It resists easy classification or measurement
because it sits within each of the individuals How is risk being defined?
Do you change your behaviour depending who make it up. However, it helps explain What is considered risky around here
on where you are and who you are with? why we change our behaviour depending (safety, environment, financial, etc.)?


How do the staff think the organisation is about beliefs and not behaviour, and you corporate line on risk; ask them to tell you
perceives risk (eg. threat or cannot really see beliefs. A good place to about what risk means to them; ask them to
opportunity)? start is with language. That is, what people
talk to you about what they consider to be
say collectively and individually. At its heart,
WHY BOTHER? investigating culture is about engaging and risky? Ask them what they think about the
listening to people, not observing them. In way the organisation tackles (not manages)
Risk seems a central part of every business my experience, if you ask questions in the risk? That will give you much more insight
now, whether it is discussing risk in general, right way, and then genuinely listen, you will
about risk culture than any behaviour.
or having to complete a risk assessment gain an insight into what people think. I try
each time you start a shift. However, if we to ask questions like tell me about or talk
have different underlying beliefs about risk, me through , rather than what is or do
it creates dialogue and great difficulty in you.
achieving a meaningful outcome. This is
because the real issue for culture is not so FINAL WORD
much whether it is positive or negative, it is
whether it is consistent and predictable or Culture and risk are both very complex issues
cracked and disconnected. that resist simplification. However, there is
huge opportunity in embracing both in a
By way of example, within safety we nearly meaningful way. As mentioned above, the
always treat risk as if it were bad (is the goal real danger with culture is where it is cracked
not to eliminate risk wherever possible?). and disconnected. Where what is said by
What if individuals doing the work think that the organisation is not matched with what
risk is okay? What if their belief about risk people believed who are a part of it. Where
is that without risk there is no learning or an organisation says they value learning, for
growth? Or what if the organisation thinks the example, but suppresses risk-taking to the PROFILE
purpose of using a permit to work-process point where innovation and growth cannot
equates to managing safety risk, but the happen because people have learnt if you DAVE WHITEFIELD
people using it believe it is just to manage make a mistake you will be fired. DIRECTOR - PEOPLE AND RISK
legal risk (to protect someone)?
With culture you cannot go straight to the fix, Dave works with organisations to enhance
HOW IS CULTURE PERCEIVED? you have to go through the discovery process engagement and connection, specifically in the
areas of leadership and culture
first. Go and have conversations with people
This is a tricky question given that culture about risk, but do not ask them to repeat the

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Leadership and
pathway to safety
Historically, there have been varying views on the meaning of safety culture. Goran Prvulovic
shares different perspectives that might surprise you.

afety Culture is indeed a tough subject. they will change cultures and also, in time,
In fact the mere term culture, from the individual values.
organisational perspective, is still a term
for which there is no unilateral agreement. This is where things start to become difficult;
the idea about collective organisational
This subject has been extensively covered practices is more than 25 years old, yet it
by work of prominent organisational culture does not appear to have inflicted much
thought leaders such as Schein, Weick, change or at least not a widespread
Reason, Hudson, Hopkins and others. transformation in organisational behaviour.
This is an interesting development and in
Historically, there have been varying views order to understand the issues, the idea
on the meaning of safety culture. It was often needs to be well understood and examined.
described as a summary of individual and
collective values, assembly of characteristics DECISION MAKERS FUNDAMENTALLY
and attitudes, collective mindfulness or OWN SAFETY
shared basic assumptions. Most of those
ideas currently converge around one central The concept of collective practices
point, which describes safety culture as a set developing and influencing organisational
of accepted collective practices within the safety culture is based on a fundamental
organisational environment or as Schein put ownership of safety amongst the most senior
it so eloquently in the early 1990s: The way decision-makers, especially on their own
we do things around here. behaviours and practices. Responsibility,
accountability and ownership for safety
SAFETY CULTURE IS ABOUT VALUES culture rests firmly with senior management
as a building block of not only the safety
Both, Reason and Hopkins align in the view culture, but organisational culture as a whole.
that previously accepted description of Schein, Reason and Hopkins clearly
of verbalisation of safety and observable
safety culture being about individual and articulate this thinking with Hopkins
leadership behaviours and practices
collective values or shared assumptions describing this as: It is the leaders who
displayed in daily business conduct,
is not as useful as viewing the culture as determine how the organisation functions
collective practices, mostly as practices and it is their decision-making, which especially in decision making. Actual
can over time influence individual values determines whether an organisation exhibits observable practices of senior leaders are
which are notoriously difficult to change. The the practices which go to make up a culture those that fundamentally underpin the verbal
notion is that by changing organisational of safety. This clearly identifies leadership commitment, set the importance of safety in
practices, the culture can be modified much at the senior organisational levels as the key the organisation and in turn create a culture
more readily and efficiently, according to creating factor of safety culture, and this of safety in a true sense of it being the way
Hopkins. view is a mainstream thinking in the safety we do things around here.
profession as it is in modern concepts of
From the safety practitioners point of management and organisational behaviour. Those practices are specifically around
view, this is something of a revelation. The what senior leaders in organisation
idea makes perfect sense. Why attempt to TURN CULTURE INTO THE WAY THINGS emphasise in their daily conduct, what they
change peoples values when the only thing ARE DONE make important through verbal and body
really needed in order to change culture language, what they routinely question,
is to focus on what is actually done in It is paramount to highlight the difference measure, recognise, reward and see as
organisations? If people change practices, between leadership commitment in context the fundamental factor in promotions




and especially how they make operational This article will not discuss the reasons why describe different stages of organisational
decisions in terms of making safety an some organisations and their leadership safety culture and the journey to safety
ultimate priority at the sharp end. team take different approaches, which excellence. Two most distinct models still in
distance top leadership and management use today are the DuPont Bradley curve and
Perhaps the real question steaming from this layers from safety or pursue strategies that Hudson evolutionary model. Each of them
discussion is: Can a good safety culture exist are based on a belief that safety culture can has served as a valuable step in progression
on the organisational level without those be grown at lower organisational levels and of safety efforts worldwide with some
practices of the most senior leaders? In the flow from the bottom up. Those reasons are distinct differences of note.
authors view, and in the view of many senior worthy of separate discussion. However,
safety professionals, it is highly unlikely there is one critical factor that needs to be Bradley curve describes four stages in this
at least not in the way safety culture is noted because it exists in various forms in journey, beginning with a reactive stage
generally being perceived as a stable, caring, all organisations and alongside observable where safety is practiced by natural instinct
mindful, sustainable and consistent display behaviours and practices of senior where people are not taking responsibility,
of expected behaviours and practices leadership, it is yet another critical indicator and progressing towards the final stage
especially at operational, work execution of the particular stage in organisational where safety is owned at frontline levels and
levels. cultural development employees feel responsible for themselves
and others. This model makes two critical
The reasons for this are simple; practices PEOPLE AS SOLUTION AND AGENTS OF assumptions. Firstly, the reactive stage is the
of the most senior leaders arguably set SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY beginning of organisational journey and no
what is really important in the organisation, other stages exist, which are lower on this
behind the fanfare and formal advertised evolutionary scale.
position, organisational language or fancy
slogans. Those observable practices and Seniorleadership
Seniorleadershipnot Seniorleadershipmakes Seniorleadershipowns Seniorleadership
walkingthetalk,unaware consciouseffortstoensure safety,drivesaccountability, behavioursandpractices

behaviours of senior leaders are consciously

disconnected,poor theirbehavioursandpractices consistentlydemonstrate
oftheimpactsoftheir makessafetyimportant
ownershipofsafety aremodelledbylinemanagers thatsafeproductionisa
behavioursandpractices throughtheirpracticesand

and unconsciously modelled and conformed

behaviours primarymeasureofsuccess

to by senior operational managers and are Inhibited Reactive Transitional Mature Resilient
in the same way relayed and cascaded
further down the stratum levels to their Disengagedseniorline

direct reports, amplifying and modifying

safetyperformance majoraccidents) accountable andrewards.Seniorlinemanagersare levels.Operationsareproudoftheir
Peopleareseenaskeyaccident Humanerrors(unsafeacts)are Heavyfocusonsystemsdevelopmentand heldaccountableforsafetyperformance ownershipofsafety
causationagents.Blameand commonlyidentifiedasrootcauses proceduralcompliance Systemsevolvingtocaterforhuman Systemsdesignedaroundhuman

along the way until they reach workers at the

managementbyfear ofaccidents.Punitiveapproaches Safetyisarecognisedlinemanagement factors fallibility
Poorleadership,supervisionand areprevalent accountability,Safetyprofessionals Qualifiedandexperiencedsafety Qualifiedandexperiencedsafety
managementskills Accountabilityforsafetyis emergingascoachesandmentorsrather professionalsathighestorganisational professionalsatexecutivelevel,

sharp end. This often causes big differences Nooperationalaccountabilityfor delegatedtosafetyfunction asownersanddoers levels,othersareintegratedin involvedindecisionmaking.Safety
safetyperformance,safetyis Problemsandvulnerabilitiesare Supervisorsactivelyinvolvedinaccident managementteamsandusedascoaches functionincoachingroleatalllevels
delegatedtoSafetyManagerand mostlyidentifiedviaaccident investigations Supervisorsaresafetyleaders,leading Highcompetenceoffrontlinestaff

between work execution methods and advisors

transparency Safetyisonlyimportantpost decisions Capable,trainedfrontlinemanagement workforce

professed organisational values, with a

Manyinjuriesareseenas incident Emergenceofproactiveanticipationand Risksareanticipatedandevaluatedat Constantlylookingforvulnerabilities,
unavoidable Safetyperformanceismeasured analysisofrisksatseniorlevels(whatif) planninganddecisionmakingstages verifyingcriticalcontrolsandresponse

shock and surprise effects at the top of the

Mostfrontlinestaffnot withlagindicatorswithInitiatives Developmentandpartialimplementation Proactiveidentificationandevaluationof
interestedinsafety(apathy) drivenfrominjurydata ofjust,flexibleandlearningcultures risksandcriticalcontrols discipline
Unwillingnesstoreporterrorsand Poorreportingculture Improvedemployeeengagement, Transparencyincommunications Lookingdeepintoevents,building

organisation when major accidents occur.

nearmisses Heavyfocusonbehaviouralsafety communications,sharingoflearnings Just,flexibleandlearningculturesare knowledgeratherthandumbingdown
Lowoperationaldiscipline, programs(fixthepeopleapproach) Increasedrelianceonleadindictors,data functional Frontlinefeedbackisseenascritical
inconsistentinworkmethods, Safetyisnotapriorityinoperational drivenmeasurementofsafety LeadIndicatorsasprimarymeasureof Flexible,expertisebaseddecision
safetybreachesandshortcutsare activities performance success makinginhighrisksituations
common Safetyasapriorityisverbalisedbutoften Safetyisapriorityinplanningand Safetyismeasuredbypositivesand
takesastepbackatworkexecutionlevel executionofwork proactivemeasurestaken



Peopleasanintegralpartofthe Peopleassolutionandagents
Contrary to some behaviourally based safety
Peopleasaproblemandcausesofaccidentsandlosses Peopleasafactortocontrol
3 system ofsuccessfulrecovery

approaches, tendency and motivation to Figure1PathwayLeadershipSafetyCultureModel

behave safely is deeply embedded in human

psyche. The appropriate skillset, alignment People as a problem and causes of The second is based around people and
of professed organisational values with the accidents and losses their natural instincts. By placing human
actual operational practices of the leadership natural instincts at the lowest end, this
team are the most critical elements for People as a factor to control model points-out an inherent unsafe nature
what people really need to be able to work People as an integral part of the system of humans if they are not controlled or
safely and be mindful of risks. Achieving this otherwise motivated. In authors experience,
alignment is the most effective method in this is hardly the case; people are generally
achieving behavioural modification in the The view of people, which is often very responsible, calculated risk takers by
workplace from the safety perspective, far consciously and unconsciously driven and design, have strong natural sense of self
surpassing ability and effectiveness of any supported from the senior organisational preservation and the ability to work safely,
other behaviourally based safety program or levels, differs across organisations and which needs to be promoted and enhanced
method. industries and ranges from a viewpoint that not suppressed thought control and
people are the key problem, which needs to restriction.
The ability of senior management and the be fixed and controlled to people being an
leadership team to understand the impact of integral part of the system and finally to a There are many industrial examples
their own behaviours, practices and be aware view that people are the solution and agents worldwide where human natural instinct
of hidden subliminal messages often of successful recovery. There is a clear and the use of heuristics in rapid decision-
passed through verbal, written, oral and correlation of those viewpoints to individual making has saved the day. It is the strange
body language is fundamental for creating stages of organisational cultural maturity. thing we have developed technology to try
the organisational safety culture. Even more Each of those stages is unique and clearly to eliminate or control the human condition
so, the ability to show courage, willingness identifiable from a variety of observable and our imperfect design, but are at the
to change and adjust those practices at the indicators and characteristics. same time relying on human natural instinct
most senior levels is absolutely essential for to control those systems, feel things system
taking the organisation on the journey of LEADERSHIP SAFETY CULTURE MODEL cannot, adapt to unexpected and bring them
cultural improvement. It is the only way to back to normal from malfunction. When
build and sustain a successful safety culture. There have been many concepts and we consider this, it is difficult to see human
models designed and used over the years to natural instinct as unsafe.


Essentially Bradleys curve passes the indicates risk savviness and organisational and consistent effort from the top of the
message that people are a problem to maturity of the leadership team and their organisation downwards, backed up with the
control, and it places the crucial emphasis real commitment to improving safety consistent alignment of safety values with
on ownership of safety and responsibility performance. Consistent ownership of actual demonstrated practices the same as
on individuals, specifically those on the safety and good safety performance cannot production or any other type of culture.
sharp-end. It does not mention criticality sustainably exist at the sharp end without
of leadership, their own accountability strong ownership of safety at the most Pathway model is a leadership and change
or influence of their practices on the senior levels of management as well as a management model, describing critical
organisational safety culture. On the other willingness to hold accountable those who observable organisational behaviours
hand, the Hudson model is much more are entrusted with planning, scheduling, present in each cultural stage as well as
comprehensive. It acknowledges importance resourcing and executing operational direction and practical improvements
of a top-down approach in driving safety activities. organisation can undertake to continue
culture and the correlation between on the journey. This journey and appetite
management beliefs, their allocation of The view of people and their role in safety for continuous improvement is entirely a
priorities and organisational ability to is a defining component of organisational conscious choice of the senior decision
change. safety culture and each step on the journey makers.
towards a culture of resilience. Particular
The pathway model proposed in this paper view of people significantly influences The model does not suggest each
is a leadership safety culture model. It the entire approach of health and safety organisation begins the journey from the
is intended as yet another step forward management, starting with the content and same starting-point. There are organisations
in the quest for providing pathways to flavour of safety management systems, which are in reactive or transitional
organisational cultural development. allocation of responsibilities, practices of space even at their conception and
Amongst other traits typical for each phase management and supervision and execution commencement of business activities, as
in organisational cultural development, of work. are those which evolve to mature stage and
the model is based on the following key slip back into lower stages, often through
characteristic and principles: PATHWAY SAFETY CULTURE IS NOT change in leadership and structure. Journey
EVOLUTIONARY in this space is a very dynamic affair and
Behaviours and practices: Of the most almost completely connected to quality,
senior leaders are key factor in defining the The pathway safety culture model is not resolve and changes in top organisational
entire organisational behaviour towards an evolutionary model. To call it as such leadership.
safety by directly and critically influencing would be to potentially imply some kind
the behaviours and practices at all stratum of autogenous, spontaneous or semi- Some important characteristics of each
levels, defining what is really important in the spontaneous cultural change. This is stage in the Leadership Safety Culture Model
organisation, setting acceptable norms and important in the context of understanding are:
creating a culture of safety. past efforts of some organisations to change
culture from the bottom-up via various safety Inhibited: This stage is marked not by
Ownership and accountability: For safety interventions, aimed at changing behaviours a lack of care as suggested sometimes
performance belongs with the line of workers without changing practices of the in other models, rather by a significant
disengagement at the senior leadership
management. How this is allocated and senior leadership team.
levels from safety accountabilities,
applied in an organisation is a typical
with poor ownership of safety where
characteristic of the particular stage on Safety culture does not evolve on its own
the general view is that safety is the
the journey to developing a safety culture. or develops from the bottom up with
responsibility of workers and safety
It speaks volumes of how the organisation support from above. This is the critical
professionals. At this stage senior decision
understands modern principles in safety mistake from the past. Instead, in order to
makers do not drive accountability for
and risk management, organisational be created enhanced or changed, safety
safety with line managers and people
development and business improvement. It culture requires a conscious, systematic
being seen as the main causes of
accidents, with widespread punitive
actions being taken. Human factors are
poorly understood and managing by
THIS IS A SPECIFIC VIEW EACH ORGANISATION HAS OF fear and blame is common. Reporting
PEOPLE, THEIR ROLE IN ACCIDENT CAUSATION AND culture is reduced to events which cannot
be hidden, learning culture is in infancy,
DEVELOPMENT OF SAFETY CULTURE: apathy towards safety at the sharp end
Disengaged senior line management, not accountable for safety performance is prevalent and operational activities
People are seen as key accident causation agents. Blame and management by are undertaken with little planning or
fear anticipation of risks. Repeats of similar
Poor leadership, supervision and management skills events are common. Many organisations
No operational accountability for safety performance, safety is delegated to the begin their journey in this space but some
safety manager and advisors stay in this space for a very long time
Poor communication and lack of transparency
Many injuries are seen as unavoidable Reactive: In this space behaviour and
Most front-line staff are not interested in safety (apathy) leadership practices at the top levels
Unwillingness to report errors and near misses are often paradoxical in nature. Senior
Low operational discipline, inconsistent in work methods, safety breaches and leadership understand the expectation to
shortcuts are common make safety important, they verbalise it
but their actual decision-making actions
and practices are inconsistent and often / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 35



INHIBITED Senior leadership disconnected, poor ownership of safety
TRANSITIONAL Senior leadership not walking the talk, unaware of the impacts of their behaviours and practices
RESILIENT Senior leadership owns safety, drives accountability, makes safety important through their practices and behaviours
MATURE Senior leadership behaviours and practices consistently demonstrate that safe production is a primary measure of success

contrary to professed values. They believe flexibility exists for users at sharp end to in everything they do; it is simply a way
this verbalisation of safety is enough to change systems of work. It is important of life and modus operandi. In this final
set the scene of what is important and are to note that some organisations stay in stage, accountability for safety by line-
unaware of the negative influence of their this space for a very long time, drifting in management is a basic paradigm, and one
behaviours and practices to stratum levels and out between reactive and transitional demonstrated with pride. Lines between
below. At this stage in development, line stages. The step towards mature culture management and workers are blurred;
managers are generally unaccountable for is probably the most difficult one to make at least when it comes to safety and the
safety performance unless in rare cases of and it requires serious commitment from frontline staff is not an owner but rather
significant events. Ownership of safety is mature and trained leadership a partner in the ownership of culture.
generally delegated to safety function and Leadership and promotions are defined
safety only becomes important after major Mature: At this particular stage on the and obtained by safety related behaviours,
incidents occur. Incident response often journey, senior leadership is of particular practices and achievements. Organisation
consists of a mass display of commitment quality and very self-aware. They are is fully aware at all levels that just by
by gathering important managers, making mindful of safety implications resulting reaching this state, organisation has not
promises and pledges with going back to from their decision making processes, reached a final destination. Its journey
old ways soon afterwards. Human action they drive strong accountability with and the real task of maintaining constant
is routinely identified as a root cause line management and are modelling the state of awareness, probing the existing
in accident investigation with almost importance of safety through their own controls and looking for unexpected has
obsessive views of individual human behaviour. They hold safety as a key factor only just begun.
behaviour driving, in some cases, multiple in promotions and allocation of rewards,
applications of behaviourally based safety maintain frequent visibility at sharp end
approaches aimed to fix people and ensure that messages they pass are
consistent and being followed by local
Transitional: This stage is a very leaders. Safety professionals are firmly Safety KPIs are used as a formality;
important stage in development for any accepted as coaches and mentors with safety is a deciding factor in
organisation striving towards reliability and strong presence at executive levels. promotions at all levels. Operations
safety excellence. It is a game-changer Supervisors are recognised as a critical are proud of their ownership of
as it means the leadership team is not role and are trained, supported and safety.
only starting to be self-aware of the expected to own safety performance Systems are designed around
influence their practices have on stratum of their teams. Focus on systems and human fallibility.
levels and the messages they send, they processes are strong. However, they Qualified and experienced safety
are also starting to focus on ensuring are increasingly being developed to professionals at executive level, are
those messages are interpreted correctly accommodate human condition rather involved in decision making. There
and modelled by senior line managers. than the other way around. People are is a safety function in coaching role
Transference of the same messages to seen as an integral and critical part at all levels.
lower-ranking managers and supervisors of the system with corresponding High competence of frontline staff.
is often inconsistent. Ownership and cooperation and involvement. Risks are Just, informed, flexible and learning
accountability for safety performance is routinely assessed in decision-making cultures operating with support of
shifting towards line management where it with increased focus on catastrophic the workforce.
rightfully belongs and safety professionals risk management and departure from Constantly looking for
are starting to be used as thinkers and previous number driven, high frequency vulnerabilities, verifying critical
coaches to management structures rather low consequence events. controls and response to
than doers. This stage is marked by unexpected. High operational
strong number and incident rates focused Resilient: This stage is marked by mature discipline.
approach to management of safety, heavy leadership, which has a high degree Looking deep into events, building
reliance on compliance in applications of understanding how organisational knowledge rather than dumbing
of systems and processes as well as safety culture is formed, enhanced down.
emergence of learning, just and flexible and sustained. This leadership is able Frontline feedback is seen as critical.
cultures. The value of people engagement to consistently display behaviours and Flexible, expertise based decision-
is recognised however people are seen practices, which are completely in line making in high risk situations.
as a factor to control in terms of making with professed values and organisational Safety is measured by positives and
systems functional. Punitive approaches advertised position and that demonstrate proactive measures are taken.
for noncompliance are common. However, safety results are not only valued No compromise approach on safety
the understanding in human fallibility is but a primary measure of successful in execution of work. Widespread
also emerging and influencing outcomes production. Senior leadership does this self-reinforcement of expected
of some accident investigations. Some by paying systematic attention to safety standards at operational levels.


Safety KPIs embedded at all management levels, linked
to promotion and rewards. Senior line managers are held
HOW TO AFFECT CHANGE accountable for safety performance.
Systems are evolving to cater for human factors.
Embarking on a journey of cultural change is Qualiied and experienced safety professionals are at the highest
not a simple process for any leadership team organisational levels, others are integrated in management
and it usually requires external assistance teams and used as coaches.
and coaching. As a guide, the following are Supervisors are safety leaders, leading safety investigations.
essential steps and phases, which need to be Genuine cooperation with the workforce.
taken and experienced by the top leadership Capable, trained front line management.
team: Risks are anticipated and evaluated at planning and decision
making stages.
Realisation: Coming to terms with Proactive identiication and evaluation of risks and critical
reality and a need to change can be controls.
very confronting and challenging, Transparency in communications.
even amongst the most experienced Just, lexible and learning cultures are functional.
executives. There has to be a process of Lead Indicators are used as primary measure of success.
internal justification, which needs to be Safety is a priority in the planning and execution of work.
driven from the moral standpoint more so
than anything else, despite the fact that
Senior leadership makes conscious eorts to ensure their behaviours
safety is indeed a good business.
and practices are modelled by line managers:

Desire and alignment: Just because
Limited accountability of senior line management for safety
there is a need to change does not mean
(mostly after major accidents).
that all members of the executive team
Human errors (unsafe acts) are commonly identiied as root
will be ready to embark on it. Alignment
causes of accidents. Punitive approaches are prevalent.
at this level is absolutely paramount
Accountability for safety is delegated to safety function.
for success as many attempts to affect
Problems and vulnerabilities are mostly identiied via accident
significant organisational changes have
investigations, accidents are repeated.
failed precisely for this reason. Alignment
Safety is only important post incident.
is a job for a CEO who is the main owner
Safety performance is measured with lag indicators with
of the whole organisational culture and
initiatives driven from injury data.
a key change agent in this process.
Poor reporting culture.
Executives are either on, or off the bus
Heavy focus on behavioural safety programs (ix the people
that CEO is driving forward, it is usually as
simple as that.
Safety is not a priority in operational activities.

Assessing ability: Senior leadership team

needs to be objective and realistic of what
they are trying to achieve, what resources
they need and key strengths they are
missing and need to introduce to ensure
successful change. Very few organisations
are ready and able to embark on this
journey from the emerging or reactive
stage completely on their own. They
usually require specialised, often external
resources and internal champions or
project leads. Taking the organisation
on the journey unprepared can be very
damaging and disheartening for everyone. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 37



Safety KPIs for managers however Emergence of proactive anticipation

mostly lower ranking managers are and analysis of risks at senior levels
held accountable. (what if).

Heavy focus on systems Development and partial

development aAnd procedural implementation of just, lexible and
compliance. learning cultures.

Safety is a recognised line Improved employee engagement,

management accountability; safety communications and sharing of
professionals are emerging as learnings. PROFILE
coaches and mentors rather than
owners and doers.
Increased reliance on lead Goran Prvulovic
indicators, data-driven MOCCHLTH&SAF
Supervisors are actively involved in measurement of safety Goran Prvulovic is an experienced risk
accident investigations. performance. management professional with over 25
years of operational and occupational,
Management recognises the Safety as a priority is verbalised but health and safety experience (HSE)
systemic nature of accidents and often takes a step back at the work- gained, with a combination of large
impact of their decisions. execution level. multinational client and contractor
organisations. He has held a number of
senior HSE leadership roles in the mining,
mineral processing, refining, transport
and power generation sectors where he
directly managed large, multifunctional
Scope: Define scope, resources and as overstatement of the roles of senior HSE teams and coached senior leadership
specific steps, which need to be taken to management in creation of safety culture. teams.
reach next stage on the cultural journey. This is a simple representation of the reality
His journey of leadership in
Aim to achieve a step change, cultural all face as humankind moves further into the operationalising risk management
change can take a significant amount 21st Century. systems on the large scale, modifying
of time, sometimes years. Ensure that organisational behaviour and
a change plan is part of the long-term Organisations are made and controlled by creating people based systems and
organisational strategy and it is in line with people and so are the norms and accepted processes provided an unique insight
SMART methodology. behaviours within them. There is no value and experience needed for creating
in believing that safety culture can be environments that are capable of
Enrolment: Once on board, senior delegated to lower stratum levels, travel harnessing human potential and enhancing
organisational resilience.
leadership team needs to bring on board upwards from there or exist outside of the
the rest of the business, starting with their overall organisational culture applied to Gorans operational background,
direct reports and penetrating all stratum productive or financial activities. combined with an exceptional HSEQ
levels. technical knowledge and experience
Safety culture and its development is a enable him to approach organisational
safety performance issues with a unique
Action: Start the implementation of the fundamental leadership function and
practical perspective. His exceptional
change and involve employees at all responsibility. Behaviours and practices
communication and influencing skills are
levels. Develop a short and long-term at the top of organisations, especially in specifically tailored to match target
business strategy around the cultural operational decision making, reward and groups and ensure the message gets
change. Maintain momentum and focus recognition strategies and accountability across in the way that it drives critical
on implementation over time with regular of line managers are true representations thinking and leadership development.
review meetings. of what is really important and what safety Goran holds a Masters Degree in OHS
culture really is about the way we actually from Edith Cowen University in Western
Changing organisational culture is a hard do business around here. Australia. He also holds a number of
business; it takes huge amounts of energy vocational educational qualifications.
and time. However, potential returns are
He is developing a consultancy business
increased profitability, lower risk profile and focused on safety leadership and
improved health and safety of employees, upskilling of front line management in
and this really should be all the motivation management of safety and risks. He
any leadership team needs to take their enjoys development and execution of
organisation on the journey of improving the training as well as occasional writing.
safety culture.

In closing, context and principles explained

in this paper should not be interpreted FOR A FULL LIST OF REFERENCES,




Inquiry hears horrors of

black lung
Authorities have yielded to widespread concerns about the horrifying effects of black lung, and passed new rules to protect
Queensland coal miners from the deadly disease, writes Richard Szabo.
United States black lung specialist Dr Robert Cohen recently told a Former coal miner Steve Mellor is emotional a year after being
State Parliamentary inquiry the absence of confirmed cases seems diagnose with black lung.
hard to believe.
This should not be like this; men are dying just because we went to
You are mining significant quantities of coal in Queensland and not work thats all we did we went to work and now we are going to
to have one single case, it sort of begs the imagination, he says. die from it, he told the ABC.

Thats something that really should ring alarm bells and have people We need to stop it from happening again, we need to stop these
thinking were not looking carefully. people from going underground and getting this disease.

The remarks fly in the face of the mining industrys three-decade view Committee chair Jo-Ann Miller revealed thousands of x-rays were
that black lung had been eradicated. discovered in a shipping container adjacent to a Health Surveillance
Unit in Ipswich.
If you do not take x-rays well or do not look at the x-rays, you will not
find disease in your population and you do not have to do anything We understand that a lot of that evidence, their x-rays, have
about it, he says. probably been destroyed now. It is an indictment on public
administration in this state that this has occurred, she says.
When deputy committee chair and Queensland MP Lawrence
Springborg asked whether 70,000 former coal workers in the Cohen recommended that mobile clinics be one-way to improve
US had black lung listed as contributing to their death on their surveillance of the disease.
death certificate, Cohen claimed that figure was a significant
The inquiry was due to report its findings in April 2017.

Springborg claims that as many as one in 70 current coal workers

have some sign of black lung found in their x-rays.

You are potentially talking about thousands of coal workers in

Queensland who have had black lung disease which has probably
contributed in many cases to their death, he told a press conference.

If youre looking to advance your career in occupational health and safety,
CQUniversity Australia has a wide range of courses to suit your needs, from
certificates and diplomas to undergraduate and postgraduate options.
Designed in consultation with industry, CQUniversitys OHS courses provide
you with career opportunities within a growing industry, with a wealth of

THE opportunities for hands-on learning.

CQUniversity makes study all about you with outstanding support services,
and on-campus or distance education study options. Benefit from access to
more than 20 regional and metropolitan locations across Australia.

OUR Choose from course options to get you started or advance your career in OHS:
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CG48 - Associate Degree in Occupational Health and Safety
CQ26 - Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety
CC49 - Graduate Certificate in Advanced Safety Science Practice
CC78 - Graduate Certificate in Fatigue Risk Management
CC77 - Graduate Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety
CC76 - Master of Advanced Safety Science Practice
CC79 - Master of Safety Science (Specialisation).
Apply now to study in 2017. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 39



People are the

Organisations employ people who are capable of going and beyond their roles and responsibilities, and can
utilise these hidden talents to help staff realise their fullest intellectual, emotional and creative potential, writes
Daniel Hummerdal.

once ran some focus groups on a mine a truck. However, his potential was clearly FIND THE TALENT FROM WITHIN YOUR
site with a goal of identifying conditions much bigger than that and he was keen to ORGANISATION
that made work difficult. One of the issues contribute more. I passed on his name to the
identified with the workforce was that work managers, but I do not know what happened Organisations are filled with people whose
is difficult when you drive at night and you with this after I left. However, this experience capacity goes above and beyond the roles
cant see signage, rocks, and other traffic. triggered a question and perspective that and responsibilities assigned to them. Every
I have explored since that people are the organisation is a bundle of more or less
After presenting this and other findings to solution. untapped intelligence, passion, knowledge,
the project employees during a pre-start creativity, collaboration, know-how and
meeting, one of the truckies came up to innovation.
me and said much to my surprise: Let me
know if you need any help in assessing These skills can be used to improve, detect,
effectiveness or placing the lighting towers. assess ambiguous environments, optimise
Ive got a masters degree in lighting; I can cutting edge technology that have not been
help. fully understood yet, carry-out work under
competitive pressures to do more with less,
This truck operator had, up until that point, care about colleagues, speak-up, and lend a
been defined by the role and responsibility helping hand. Organisations are free to make
that the organisation had given him: Operate use of this hidden resource to realise its


intellectual, emotional and creative potential. pressure to carry out projects on time, on interesting. When faced with an unknown
budget, without any losses to machinery, and uncertain future and something that
The question we need to ask ourselves may people or environment. Humans with their may potentially go wrong, people and
not be how people can be the solution, free will, subjectivity, creativity, autonomy organisations have a tendency to look to
rather how come the potential of people is and capacity to see and combine things something external to project their hopes
so often overlooked, disregarded, discarded in unexpected ways, do not really fit the on, displace doubt and have something to
and even disdained when it comes to safety? ideals of control and predictability. So this cling onto. Essentially, this is a belief that
Because this potential remains a relatively idea, this potential about people being the organisations will be saved if staff rely on
unexplored resource in most companies solution, is perhaps too disruptive. You have something external.
visited. This capacity to innovate and create no idea what people can come up with.
is more often than not considered a problem Peoples potential brings great uncertainty This may be a:
an unpredictable threat that had better be into our plans.
kept at bay and within confined roles and standard
responsibilities handed down. In fact, it takes a lot of effort to keep this best practice
potential at bay. To maintain or increase method developed elsewhere
Over the last couple of years, it has been control and predictability, organisations charismatic leader
puzzling why organisations so willingly and tend to opt for a prescriptive approach. By set of sparkly rules
frequently turn away from or against this imposing prescriptions around methods, theory
potential resource their people when it behaviours and values, organisations more evidence-based science
comes to safety: reduce reactivity, mess, diversity, variation, question: What would market-leading
uncertainty but also creativity and company x do?
why avoid achieving the fullest potential? autonomy. They also increase repetition,
why do so many organisations copy what conformity, discipline, uniformity and order. All these potential points of stability may be
others do? good in their entirety. They can all be quite
why are so many organisations keen on It is crucial to recognise that prescriptions appealing as someone else has already
importing products produced elsewhere? have a goal of transforming the thought about the issue much more, so why
why is there so little creativity with consciousness of the prescribed person to follow their lead?
safety? align with the person who prescribes. The
why are we so keen on using outside more you prescribe and ask for compliance, DESIRE FOR STABLE TOOLS IS
expertise rather than looking for the the more of a problem people become, and RELATIVELY UNSTABLE
answer within our own organisations? the less engagement and creativity you will
Why are there so few celebrations of local have. Why should people be engaged when In contrast to this, the desire for stable tools
initiatives? the thinking, designs and solutions have to chart and master an unknown future,
been handed down to them? How can they what staff can offer is relatively unstable and
The following are two potential answers as to be engaged when all that has already been unattractive.
why people are often considered a problem done for them?
as well as some steps towards making This can include:
people the solution. Safety managers should really ask
themselves: Do I really want engagement, what you want is something objective.
CONTROL AND PREDICTABILITY ARE or is it buy-in into compliance I am looking People are susceptible to whims or
HIGHLY DESIRABLE for? subjectivity
it is way more attractive to rely on laws of
When functions are designed, control ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM regularity, rather than peoples hunches
and predictability can be highly desirable and gripes
features. Control and predictability can Another reason why organisations escape you probably want facts, not individual
appear to be tempting notions when under their own potential is perhaps more opinions / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 41



you will want numbers, rather than externally to your business. It is much more and what might work. If you want innovation
descriptions intriguing to assume that somewhere in your and engagement you need to change
you will want the one best way, rather own organisation there is already a solution this social setup and bridge the gap, or at
than exploring the many good enough to keeping staff safe. Otherwise you would least combine people in a new way. The
ways that people may have developed have more incidents. Figure out is enabling good news is this is actually quite easy and
you may prefer something that has been people to work safely. Start by looking at straightforward. If you are a manager reach
tested and validated, over the new and what already works. out, get out from behind your desk and start
unproven things that people can come Ask, listen and explore how your people spending more time with messy details of
up with understand their world plus how they your operations. Start asking more questions
you would obviously like something contribute. Ask staff what they care about, to listen more, collect more information from
formal, like a set of accountabilities, struggle with and ideas they have. For the front line, and create a more interactive
rather than informal relations built on safety professionals of the future, it will be interface between the many facets of your
fuzzy trust most likely be more important to be able to organisation.
it would be good if you could have explore than to have all the answers.
something static and written down, THE VERDICT
rather than something that is changeable Start small. Do not do everything at once;
you are likely to prefer precise rules, there is no need to abandon everything that The one-sided application of externally
rather than approximate interpretations you have done to date and stand naked in developed practices that were developed
the mud waiting for ideas and inspiration to for yesterdays needs, makes us blind to
It is a soothing notion that people can start flowing. That would be arrogant and what we currently face, but also locks up the
buy or access safety and security from probably boring. Start small instead and run resources we have available to overcome.
somewhere, and that safety is a product micro experiments, be creative and obtain To overcome this we need the collective
that can be put in place. It is potentially a permission to try things locally. If it works, wisdom, curiosity, and creativity and we
relaxing thought people can escape doubt expand and roll it out; if it does not work, need to become the best we can be.
and responsibility to be the best they can, you can shut it down, learn from mistakes The best organisation is:
by copying someone else. However, the cost and try again.
of escaping your own freedom to embrace where individual differences are
safety in a way that only you can, is the OVERCOMING DRIVE FOR CONTROL considered a resource
loss of creativity, engagement, ownership, AND PREDICTABILITY making their own discoveries
own potential, authenticity, and general where solution are driven by people
excitement about the world. Accept that you cannot eliminate the drive taking responsibility, rather than
for control and predictability. Control and meeting top down accountabilities
OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF FREEDOM predictability is, to a large extent, what
organisations are about and in many ways The biggest threat to safety is not the non-
When you step outside mainstream ways what they are supposed to do. compliant worker. Instead, the greatest
of being and seeing safety, and commit to danger lies in the belief in authority,
realising your own organisational potential, But you can design co-generative processes uniformity and external expertise. The
you are likely to suffer varying degrees of to find solutions. Safety, or organisational challenge ahead is not one of winning
isolation, confusion, doubts, ambiguity and life in general, is not free for an all/laissez- hearts and minds to ensure safety. Instead,
other difficulties that first emerge when faire type, whimsical walk in the park. the challenge is to figure out how to enable
you face great uncertainty about your own Leaders should still approve and decide people and organisations to unleash their
capability. which solutions are put in place, but can own capacity to create the future they would
easily engage many minds available to do like to see.
If you want to step off the beaten track, you the thinking for what the solutions might be.
will have to start benchmarking yourself. You can help your workforce evaluate ideas,
It may take a while to establish your own and present them to management. You can
standards after a long period of relying on maintain control and people can still be
someone elses. Your organisation will also the solution. When leaders and workers are PROFIL E
expose itself to critique and even potential
legal action should things not work out.
engaged in co-generative exploration, you
make better use of the resources you have
After an initial career as a commercial pilot,
To see through chaos and make it past the Daniel Hummerdal studied psychology. Since
valley of despair, you and your organisation Change the social fabric. Safety, and then he has worked as accident investigator
need to assume autonomy and responsibility work in general, is always embedded in a with the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration
by starting to relate your actions to yourself. social structure. Unless you tweak, stretch as a human factors consultant with Dedale
and recombine the social fabric of your (France); safety innovation leader in
engineering, construction and mining; and
Here are three steps that can help with the organisation who talks with whom, about
been engaged in industrial safety research
transition: what, what happens with the information not in Sweden, France and Australia.
much is going to change. The most common
Visit for more
Look within. If you want innovation and issue I see is there are filters between those
engagement; if people are the solution, you with access to resources, and those with the
cannot default to looking for the solution most intimate understanding of sensitivities





Dont turn your

back turn your
back on change
At the height of the mining and resource construction boom, the nations airports, particularly
Perths, were a sea of yellow and orange high-viz shirts. In some of the terminals, you were
lucky if you could find a plastic seat to sit on while you waited for your plane.
At the height of the mining and resource construction boom, the nations airports, particularly
Perths, were a sea of yellow and orange high-viz shirts. In some of the terminals, you were

lucky if youinevitably,
ut then, could findtheaworld
seat to sit on headaches,
while you waited
andyour plane.All these
insomnia. Like everything, change has three phases
to change. Construction projects symptoms can be distinctly unpleasant. - a beginning, a middle and an end. Generally
were completed and came on line If you havent got some sort of handle on speaking, its scary in the beginning, messy in

ut then, inevitably, the world began headaches, fatigue and insomnia. All these Like everything, change has three phases
at about the same time as Chinas frantic change then, when you are in the workshop, the middle and pretty good at the end. You
to change. Construction projects symptoms can be distinctly unpleasant. - a beginning, a middle and an end. Generally
construction boom slowed down. Iron ore out on the paddock or down the hole, your just have to be patient - and courageous.
were completed and came on line If you havent got some sort of handle on speaking, its scary in the beginning, messy in
and other resource prices started to drift safety and the safety of the people youre
at about the same time as Chinas frantic change then, when you are in the workshop, the middle and pretty good at the end. You
south. If you listened
construction boomcarefully, you could
slowed down. hear
Iron ore working with
out on the will beor
paddock compromised.
down the hole, your justBroadly
have tothere are 2 approaches
be patient to coping with
- and courageous.
pencils beingresource
and other sharpened in head
prices offices
started and
to drift safety and the safety of the people youre change: control coping and escape coping.
boardrooms all listened
south. If you over thecarefully, could hear People
with all
willsorts of different responses
be compromised. Broadly there are 2 approaches to coping with
pencils being sharpened in head offices and to change. Some people go into denial. If youcontrol
change: choosecoping
control coping,
and escapeyou refuse to
A few years ago,allanyone
boardrooms over the who could pull on
country. Some
have allbecome hysterical.
sorts of different Some
responses become a victim. Instead, you take charge
a pair of steel-capped boots and stand up people immediately
to change. Some people try to
into denial.what andchoose
If you you docontrol
whatever you can
coping, you to be part
refuse to
inside a hi-viz
A few yearsshirt
ago, got
anyonea jobwho
if they
pull on change has taken
Some people becomeaway from them
hysterical. Some of the achange
become management.
victim. Instead, This
you take includes
one.a These
pair of days,
jobs onboots and
site are stand
quite up to
hard -people immediately
a rebound romancetry to recapture
is a what
classic example. and you do whatever
managing you can to be part
your feelings.
comeinside a hi-viz
by and shirt to
harder gotkeep.
a job if they wanted change
All thesehas taken away
responses from them nothing
do absolutely of the change management. This includes
one. These days, jobs on site are quite hard to - a rebound
but slow down romance is a classic
the change processexample.
and managing
If, on theyour feelings.
other hand, you choose escape
So, come by and harder
what happened? to what
Change All these responses
make it more painful. do absolutely nothing coping, you go into denial/avoidance
happened. And its far from the first time. but slow down the change process and If, on the other
mode hand, you
with regard choose
to the escape
change. You avoid
So, what happened? Change is what make it more painful. coping, you go into denial/avoidance
A quick look at the history of mining in Even if you understand intellectually that the thinking about it and responding to it. For
happened. And its far from the first time. mode with regard to the change. You avoid
Australia will reveal a regular cycle of booms change thats forced upon you is good for you example, rather than be a part of the change
A quick look at the history of mining in Even if you understand intellectually that the thinking about it and responding to it. For
and slow-downs. Australias landscape is (like leaving an unhappy marriage or leaving a management, you avoid going to meetings,
Australia will reveal a regular cycle of booms change thats forced upon you is good for you example, rather than be a part of the change
littered with mines that came on line, made job you dont like) youll probably experience you show up late if you do go and you dont
and slow-downs. Australias landscape is (like leaving an unhappy marriage or leaving a management, you avoid going to meetings,
money and then were abandoned when
littered with mines that came on line, made the normal grieving process. In the first place contribute anyway.
job you dont like) youll probably experience you show up late if you do go and you dont
moneyprices fell.were
and then Its been going on
abandoned ever
when you will be in denial,process.
then youll befirst
angry, then
the normal grieving In the place contribute anyway.
since the convicts
resource andIts
prices fell. thebeen
on ever youll
you will be in denial, then youll be angry, thento
be sad but, eventually, you will come Clearly, control coping is by far the best
off the
sincedecks of the First
the convicts and Fleet onto the
the soldiers rocky
stumbled accept
youll be- sad
- the change. Importantly,
you will come to option.
Clearly, Control
control coping
coping is byputs you
far the in the
shores of Sydney
off the decks ofHarbour. And its
the First Fleet ontonot going
the rocky simply
- even likeyourself to experience
- the change. these
Importantly, drivers
option. seat coping
Control - and most
putsof usinwould
you the much
to stop
shoresanyoftime soon.
Sydney Harbour. And its not going feelings and notyourself
simply allowing resisting
to them will help
experience them
these rather
drivers drive
seat than
- and be aofpassenger.
most us would much
to stop any time soon. pass more
feelings andquickly.
not resisting them will help them rather drive than be a passenger.
Change is inevitable but that doesnt make pass more quickly. Theres plenty of change going on in the
it any easieristo
deal with.butThe
doesnt make
is that the You cant control change. You might as Theres
andof change going
resources sector onright
in the
now and
it any
things weeasier
cantto deal with.
change endThe
up fact is that us.
changing the You stand
well cant control change.
on a beach You
with might asand try
a bucket mining and resources sector right now
the truth is its difficult for a lot of us and
to cope
things wewhen
Sometimes, cant change
changeend makesup changing
you thinkus. well
to stand
stop theon a beach
tide comingwith
bucket and you try thewith.
is its difficult for a lotofofstrategies
are a number us to copewhich
thatSometimes, when change
things are falling makes you
apart around you,think
they to stop
can the tide
choose how coming in. However,
you react to change. youIf you with.
areThere are a number
very useful of strategies
when dealing with which
that things are falling apart
are really just falling into place. around you, they can choose how you reactyou
to change. If you areand
veryweuseful when dealing with change toolbox
struggle against change wont win and explain them in our Change
are really just falling into place. struggle against change you wont win and and we explain them in our Change toolbox
youll be very unhappy. Like being caught talk, part of the suite of Resource Minds
Change triggers powerful responses youll be very unhappy. Like being caught talk, part of the suite of Resource Minds
in a rip at the beach, if you struggle youll toolbox talks rolled out by Rural and Remote
Change triggers powerful responses in a rip at the beach, if you struggle youll toolbox talks rolled out by Rural and Remote
physically and emotionally and change can become exhausted and probably drown. Mental Health.
physically and emotionally and change can become exhausted and probably drown. Mental Health.
and does affect your mental health. Unless The only thing you can do is to relax, accept
and does affect your mental health. Unless The only thing you can do is to relax, accept
approach change sensibly
calmly,itit whats If change is issue
an issue in your worksite, call us.
approach change whats happening
happening and andtrust
youllbebeallall If change is an in your worksite, call us.
often precipitate a mental health
healthproblem right Sometimes change is what we need.
often precipitate a mental problem right in
in the longrun.
the long run. Sometimes change is what we need.
- most commonly
- most commonly anananxiety
There areare
There a number
a numberof of
easily recognisable
easily recognisable
symptoms of anxiety: they
of anxiety: include
they includea a
poundingheart, sweating,
heart, sweating, upset
tummy, Formore
more information
For information on on
thethe RRMH,
RRMH, including
including videovideo presentations,
frequent urination
frequent or or
urination diarrhoea,
shortnessofof weinvite
we invite
to to
on on to our
to our website
website at,
breath, tremors,
tremors, twitches
twitches and
and muscletension,
muscle tension, email or call 1300
or call 51 59
1300 5151.
59 51.



Modern best
practices for
securing both
the physical&
digital space
As threats become more and more complex in the modern digitised world, security
systems and solutions must also constantly evolve, writes Luke Frost.

one are the days when a single perimeter the computers they log on to, and the network also to devices, networks, cloud-based apps
can be considered enough to keep the bad that connects it all together. and files. A dynamic solution can close off a
guys out. Every device that enters a secure certain part of a site at pre-ordained times, if
environment must be considered to be a Looking first at the physical security of a mine there is risk in a certain area or environment.
potential threat; every file can be compromised; site, the tried-and-tested proximity or prox
and every secure credential must be subjected card is being replaced by smart identity cards Modern solutions can work in accord with one
to scrutiny. as the go-to method for giving personnel another, provided the management solution is
access to areas of the site. The prox card has built on an open-platform. Surveillance can be
In modern mining facilities, systems are rapidly been effective for many years, allowing staff to brought into the same operational environment
being adapted to incorporate autonomous enter a certain section of the secure ecosystem as access control and an alarm system.
machines, business intelligence programs are and denying access to other areas. However,
constantly recording and analysing data from a modern solution can offer a whole lot more A true converged system allows administrators
a host of sources, leveraging these insights deeper levels of security, access to logical to control many aspects of a sophisticated
to improve efficiency and business continuity as well as physical spaces, in-built memory for security solution from a single, central location.
but the whole melange of interconnected recording staff details and work history, even This removes many layers of complexity, and
systems and information-gathering nodes cashless vending and time and attendance makes administering the solution more simple
means that the number of access points for records. and efficient, Cullis says.
potential criminal activity are exponentially
increased. Jordan Cullis, head of identity assurance Asia SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS WILL DETER
Pacific at HID Global, said: Identity and access TRESPASSERS
SECURITY SOLUTIONS SHOULD COVER management solutions should include strong,
EVERYTHING multi-factor authentication, as well as credential Surveillance cameras at strategic areas
management for secure access to networks, around the perimeter will of course also deter
A security solution needs to cover everything workstations, cloud applications and online unwanted visitors, but cameras within the
within this environment from the staff that services. This places power back in the hands secure ecosystem will also bring a level of
enter a secure area, through to the machines of those who need it, allowing administration safety to both the mine operations and people
they operate, the devices they carry with them, to control access to different areas of a site but living and working inside the boundary.




Mentally healthy
workplaces vital
for Australias
mining sector

Beyondblue raised awareness

of mental health and wellbeing
among mine workers at a
roadshow in the Pilbara.

he mental health of Australias mining It is up to employers and managers to are open about mental health and
workers needs to be a top priority for ensure their workers have a safe working wellbeing: where there is no distinction
employers, especially in the wake of environment and that includes a mentally between how someone is supported if
thousands of job losses after metals prices healthy workplace. they have a broken leg or depression.
crashed last year. Education is provided on how to
Research by PwC showed that there is an address risk factors for employees in
On top of the daily stressors of working in a average return on investment of $2.30 for the mining industry, including isolation,
physically demanding industry, miners must every $1 organisations invest in mentally work design, financial management,
deal with worries about their job security as healthy workplaces. For smaller organisations relationship breakdown, and alcohol use.
well as the strain of the fly-in fly-out lifestyle in the mining industry this ROI can be as high Rosters are flexible to help cope with
and being separated from loved ones. And as $15. long work hours and demanding
as employers search for ways to increase conditions.
productivity in the challenging metals Instinct and Reasons 2014 Employer of Employees are offered quality food,
markets of 2016 and beyond, they need to Choice study found 71 per cent of Australian medical and accommodation options as
consider promoting and supporting workers employees believed a mentally healthy well as opportunities, such as organised
mental health. workplace was important when looking for sports, to interact with colleagues and
a job and about 60 per cent were more the community outside of work.
Many Australian mining workers battle long committed to an organisation if it was a Everyone supports each other.
hours, harsh work conditions, regular travel mentally healthy work environment. Managers and workers provide social
and isolation which can take a heavy toll Employers have a legal responsibility and professional support to each other,
on their mental health, beyondblue CEO to provide a safe working environment particularly within work teams, which
Georgie Harman said. for employees, and legislation requires protects individuals against the stressors
businesses to identify and minimise of demanding work.
Theyre often separated from their friends workplace risks to mental health. Lower stress and sick leave.
and family for months on end and theyre Absenteeism, as a result of poor mental
cut off from the supportive social networks So how can we tell whether a workplace is health, almost halves to 13 per cent
they usually enjoy at home. Its not hard to healthy? Some common attributes are: (State of Workplace Mental Health in
understand how all this can take a physical Australia report) when employees feel
and psychological toll. Its an environment where everyone supported.
from employees to top-tier managers
Ms Harman said a supportive and
encouraging work environment often led to
happier and more engaged workers, as well For more information about creating mentally
as increased productivity. healthy workplaces and developing an action
plan go to / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 45
The latest IP cameras are far more which helps secure the area, and makes life Built for optimising productivity, not security,
sophisticated than CCTV cameras that have a little bit safer and easier for those on the systems that run fixed-function devices 24/7
been in operation for many years. They can ground. are creating security vulnerabilities that many
offer features such as remote pan, tilt and zoom companies are unable to see or remediate.
(PTZ), to better focus on a particular area or Devices that staff carry onto a site need to Here too a complete endpoint solution that
event. Software that manages the cameras be constantly screened as well, especially if sees every threat, stops most attacks and
can also feature advanced screening alerts, they are allowed access to the WiFi network. quickly identifies and closes security gaps can
which can learn what normally appears inside Bring your own device poses a severe security help. A lightweight, proven next-generation
a certain field of vision, then sound an alarm problem for any level of enterprise, mine sites, endpoint protection platform will help replace
if unexpected events or objects, such as an office admin blocks and even headquarters outdated antivirus scanners and protect critical
unattended box, appear within the image. in major hubs and capitals. Staff need to be and unsupported systems.
Conversely, a system can be set to detect aware that any device carried within a secure
objects unexpectedly going missing from an perimeter can be harmful. Computer assets such as HMIs, servers and
area as well. workstations running commercial operating
MINING COMPANIES CAN FALL PREY TO systems (Windows, UNIX, Linux) are the most
Features like Smart Search and Smart Guard, CYBER-ATTACKS perceived security risks in mining. Continued
PTZ and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) allow reliance on legacy antivirus solutions and aging
security officials much greater control over their Like all enterprises, mining companies can fall industrial-control systems, combined with a
networked cameras, and better vision at all prey to cyber-attacks including ransomware. rapid increase in networked devices, have left
times of the day and night, said Andrew Craze, During ransomware attacks, cyber criminals assets more vulnerable than ever. It is time to
country manager at Connector Systems (an infiltrate computer systems, scramble files, so replace the antivirus solution.
Ingram Micro company). they become unreadable and then demand
a ransom for returning the files to normal. STOP MORE ATTACKS WITHOUT LOCKING
Older, fixed cameras have worked fine for a According to the FBI, 4000 organisations are DOWN SYSTEMS
long time, but modern IP cameras add a host attacked each day worldwide.
of features that maximise a security networks It is essential to stop and see more attacks
effectiveness. It is essential to stop ransomware before it without adding resources, and to lock down
starts, according to Sean Walsh, ANZ regional critical, regulatory mandated and high-risk
Surveillance cameras also afford miners living in sales director for data security leader at Carbon systems by preventing unauthorised software
remote areas a sense of wellbeing and personal Black. execution. A company needs to monitor
safety, which can have a bearing on mental and control file and system changes, and
health. Knowing that a remote area is under While traditional antivirus protection is application configurations in its SCADA
constant surveillance, and the site is being insufficient defence, a complete, next- systems.
screened for dangerous or unsocial behaviour generation endpoint security solution will see
can be positive for reducing the feeling or every threat, stop the most attacks and quickly A proven next-generation endpoint protection
remoteness and isolation that some miners identify and close any security gaps, he says. platform will stop the most attacks, see every
experience while onsite. threat and close any security gaps.

CARBON BLACKS Implement an awareness and training

program. End users are targets, so
In closing, there are many ways that a mining
operation can secure business continuity
10 BEST PRACTICES everyone in the organisation needs to without the threat of physical or digital

FOR BATTLING be aware of ransomware and how its

infiltration including end-point security, logical
and physical access control managed by a high
RANSOMWARE Scan all incoming and outgoing emails to level Identity and Access Management solution
detect threats and filter executable files as well as surveillance cameras and alarms
Back up data regularly and verify the from reaching end users. operating as part of a converged solution.
integrity of those backups. Enable strong spam filters to prevent
Secure offline backups. Ensure these phishing emails from reaching end users It takes constant vigilance and a strong security
backups are not connected permanently and authenticate inbound email to prevent policy. However, it is definitely possible to lock
to the computers and networks they are spoofing. the bad guys out in the cold through vision,
backing up. Block ads. Ransomware is often distributed expertise and a broad-ranging approach.
Configure firewalls to block access to through malicious ads.
known malicious IP addresses. Use the principle of least privilege to PROFILE
Logically separate networks to prevent the
spread of malware.
manage accounts. No users should be
assigned administrative access unless
Patch operating systems, software and absolutely needed. DIRECTOR, PR DEADLINES
firmware on devices. Luke Frost is a professional writer and
consultant, working with a range of high-
profile international companies. He specialises
A secure network can, in fact link smart ID cards In addition to the typical IT endpoints (desktop in the information technology, communications,
to other smart building features. Lights activate computers, laptops etc.) that need protecting manufacturing, resources and security sectors.
when an individual enters an area, or unlocks from malware and phishing, there is the
the door to their Donga. Air conditioning can added-risk of a mining companys industrial
Mobile: 0407 271 064
also activate, ventilation switch on and cameras control systems (ICS) environment being
activate to check an individual is safe all of compromised. Email:

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Back injuries are the most common, yet arguably one of the most preventable
injuries that occur in workplaces, writes Angela Bradby.

e know that most workplace back dates the site supervisor pushed the water The site supervisor called an ambulance, and
injuries are the result of overextension tank delivery company to deliver the tank it was then that Mat realised he wouldnt be
of the spine from heavy lifting, pulling, that day as it had to be plumbed in and going riding that weekend. Today he says
pushing, or poor posture while sitting for operational. It was later determined that the he had a shell be right mentality and telling
prolonged periods. Back injuries at work are water tank delivery company did not drop his story since the accident has made him so
often painful and require extended treatment the tank in the usual set-down point due to very aware of that attitude amongst young
and recovery periods. the wet, muddy conditions. Aussie workers. This is something us HSE
professionals are acutely aware of, as it is one
The following is the story of Mat, a young This meant the tank had to be manually of our biggest challenges.
plumbing apprentice, who severely injured his moved (carried) to the desired point on-
back on October 12, 2012. site - this was not standard procedure and The ambulance arrived as Mat began to
presented some inherent, unacceptable risks. pass out from the pain. They gave him
MATS STORY No JSA was done, no pre-start was conducted some pain relief and loaded him into
Friday started like any normal day for Mat. He and no one stopped the job. the ambulance. His workmate phoned
arrived to site early to get as much done as Mats father who met him at the hospital
possible before it got hot, as the weather had Mat recalls feeling uneasy about conducting and arranged for his ute (with his prized
been rainy and humid. the lift and even remembers saying something possession the motorbike) to be picked
to the effect of: This looks too heavy to lift. up from site. At the hospital X-rays were
He worked alongside his workmate and But he did not feel comfortable saying no or taken and they showed no bone damage.
remembers chatting to him about the fact he stopping the job.
only had about one month of his plumbing He was diagnosed with a back strain and told to
apprenticeship to go and how he was looking A group of four workers, including Mat, picked rest over the weekend. Mat called his boss, who
forward to being a qualified tradesman. the tank up and began carrying it to where had been informed of the incident, and told him
it needed to be. After carrying it about 15 the good news and that he would see him on
Mat recounts how he had loaded his metres, Mat lost his footing on the slippery Monday. At this stage he had no idea this was
motorbike on the back of his ute early that ground and slid down the sloped ground the start of the toughest road he had ever been
morning as he had a race meeting that and over a retaining wall. Worrying about down. Mat did not return to work Monday, in fact
weekend and had planned to drive straight damaging the tank he tried to hold onto it - a he could not even get out of bed.
from work to the meet. huge mistake.
Sadly, Mat never returned to plumbing again.
At about 2:30pm, the site supervisor came The tank went over the retaining wall with
over and asked Mat and his workmate to help him. Mat felt his back twist when he came It turned out Mat had crushed and herniated
lift a water tank. Mat recalls hesitating at first to a halt and then experienced the scariest two discs in his back and one in his neck,
because he still had to finish the work they feeling he has ever felt his legs were numb which caused substantial nerve damage not
were doing and he didnt want to have to work and it felt like he was being stabbed in the the back strain originally diagnosed. Now
back - he was looking forward to getting to his back repeatedly. looking back, three-and-a-half years after the
race meet after work. The supervisor insisted accident, Mat acknowledges that his whole life
the boys help, so they stopped what they were One of the guys yelled out you right changed on that day.
doing and lent a hand. mate?. Mat shouted back a typical
response - Ill be right mate. He thought I have had to give up on a career I loved and
The water tank delivery company had tried he had just pinched or strained something racing my dirt bike. The accident affected my
to postpone the lift until the next week, - no big deal. When he couldnt get up his social life, my ego, my confidence, everything I
due to wet, muddy conditions. However, workmate came over to him and could see loved to do and everything that made me who
due to time pressures and completion something was very wrong. I was, he says.

I understand that if
my company had a
workplace health and
safety management
system and a positive
safety culture, I may
have felt comfortable
saying no...

It was all gone in an instant. It was the worst talking about his accident in the hope it will on site checking what we were doing and I
thing that ever happened to me. make other young workers stop and think. zoned out at safety meetings or toolbox talks,
Mat admits.
Over the last three and a half years Mat has If I can stop one person from getting hurt at
gone on what he describes as a rollercoaster work, just one, I will feel a bit better. I dont But I have a whole new appreciation
ride of emotions. At first he kept his chin want anyone to go through this or worse, for workplace health and safety now. I
up and did two hours of physiotherapy says Mat. understand that if my company had a
everyday, motivated to get back on a workplace health and safety management
motorbike. As time went on, his back got Acknowledging his post-accident life isnt system and a positive safety culture, I may
worse, despite all the treatment and the easy, especially knowing that he took his have felt comfortable saying no when
realisation that he was not going to ride health and fitness for granted. the site supervisor asked us to carry a 300
again or be a plumber hit home. kilogram water tank.
Through my struggles I have found new ways
I got severely depressed and at the time I was to enjoy things and Ill never give up on my If I had stopped and thought about my safety
suicidal, I had all but given up, he says. recovery. I just wish it didnt happen, that is and wellbeing, if I had engaged with the safety
all, he reflects. officer, if I had listened during meetings,
I met with a number of physios and toolbox talks and training - perhaps I never
surgeons who told me they couldnt do Young people are over-represented in injury would have gone through the hell I have over
anything more to help, but I could not statistics compared with any other age group. the last three-and a-half-years.
accept that this was as good as it would According to Youthsafe, another concern is
get. Surely I would not have to live in that young males aged between 15 and 25 It has taken a life changing injury for this
pain like this for the rest of my life. I was years old are far more frequently and severely young man to see the value in workplace
20-years-old and fit and healthy when the injured than young females the same age. health and safety systems and a positive
accident occurred. safety culture. Mat has now completed
The consequences of injury are lifelong and his Certificate IV in Workplace Health and
Mat finally met a surgeon who was willing youth injury has a major impact on the short Safety and has begun speaking to groups of
to operate using some advanced medical and long term health of individuals and their workers (generally in heavy industry) about his
technology prosthetic discs. families, as well as creating a huge burden on experience.
the Australian health system.
When I met with Mat to write this article He has a very clear message: Workplace
he was five months post surgery and Manual handling is a high-risk activity in health and safety really is the first priority and
improving everyday. workplaces. In 2013/14, 33 per cent of serious I never overlook it now. Dont be afraid to
workers compensation claims were the result speak up if something doesnt feel right and,
I still have some pain and cant do everything of muscular stress while lifting or handling above all, if the job is unsafe just stop it! Dont
I want too, yet! I work hard every single day on objects. Furthermore in 2013/14, the bodily become another statistic.
physio and have re-structured my life, he says. location most commonly affected by injuries
and diseases that led to serious claims was the When asked what motivated him to push aside
Mat has a new career, one that he actually back (22%). Other common bodily locations his fear of public speaking and start sharing
enjoys more than plumbing. While he cant were the hand, fingers and thumb (13%), his story to groups of workers, he simply
race motocross (and never will again), he has shoulder (11%), and knee (10%). stated: If I can stop other young people taking
bought a racecar and enjoys his new hobby unnecessary risks and prevent other workers
almost as much as riding bikes. I used to think workplace health and safety injuring themselves, I will feel I have achieved
was one of the most boring topics in the something to be proud of. That is why I speak
Mat has started a business and has begun world. I would hate when a safety officer came about what happened to me. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 49



the point
Heavy vehicle safety specialist Chris Stephens explores why industry understands failures of the
past, but continues to repeat those mistakes in the present and causes unnecessary deaths
on Australian roads.

any people are unaware of the past HISTORICALLY DRIVERS WERE: The rollover prevention program is generally
lessons behind the establishment of the known as a DVD pack with:
Truck Rollover Prevention Program that paid by freight volume - not per hour/weight
made it such a big success. macho in attitude with big chrome exhausts, videos
lots of noise and telling others to get rid of presentation
Sadly, people have not learned from the past. that girly Volvo models
Insanity can be defined by doing the same considered to be a good driver if travelling guide book on delivering
thing over and over, and expecting a different from A to B in less time with more weight framework for code of behaviour
outcome each time. competitive by reducing safety
did the job for $5 less than Fred if they But in reality it is simply a method to:
After spending millions of dollars in skipped servicing the brakes this week
researching safety, the conclusion often propagated myths by bravado focus on industry behaviour change, not
reached was: We need to do more research. always rolled the truck first just drivers
did not wear a seatbelt to jump clear it does include mnemonic slogans, fatigue
It seemed as though nothing brought any regarded as having a poor education reduction concepts, sleep fixes
major change, which brings back memories told by school teachers: If you do not do
of the national introduction of mandatory this, you will end up being a truck driver How did I get to the models and how or why does
seat belt legislation back in 1972. Namely, in unwilling to speak-up about risks it work?
many heavy vehicle rollover accidents, no one scared of being sacked for not being a good
listened to the driver and the driver was always driver, if they were unable to reach Sydney not targeted at one person, or task in the chain
at fault. faster than a Lamborghini simple to understand
operators, accountants and schedulers rustic but backed by science
being uninformed and unaware what drivers obvious without being condescending or
WHAT WENT WRONG? had to do to achieve desired outcomes demeaning
causes not a bums on seats method of delivery
myths SOLUTION: all can attend and get something from it
enforcement derived from: Hear and forget, see and
information figure out who needs to know remember, touch and understand
actions what is it that they all need to know concentrate on the touch that works for
ownership responsibility backed by science - not baffle with science everyone to understand
how can that be shown to everyone filling-in a checklist is to memorise, know
Geometry factors that can influence a heavy how can anyone understand why the checklist exists is understanding
vehicle propensity to rollover include: how do we make it a consistent message understanding changes behaviour
keep it stupid simple (KISS) principle has to apply
superelevation Make the problem visible and simple:
longitudinal slope (grade) PROFILE

change in radius

simple, visual, non technical
make it visible CHRIS STEPHENS
lane width and number of lanes real models UNILON
time and distance to change real video Chris has extensive experience working in
size of change cost/benefit high-technology fields, after having obtained
consistency go back to basics a degree in electronic engineering and
who needs to know several post grad accreditations in related
Combinations of these are not exclusive; they what do they need to know disciplines. He published world-first research
are compounding, multiplying the errors how am I going to show them outcomes while lecturing for 15 years at La
squared. how am I going to get them to agree on the Trobe University and at RMIT. Chris quickly
became known as the witch doctor by solving
challenging technology problems as if it
were done by black magic. This resulted in a
worldwide reputation in this field, with projects
from tennis-playing robots, mega yachts,
power management, building management,
industrial controls, automotive safety and
control to security systems, defence systems
and even unique theme park rides.

Chris currently owns three independent

companies specialising in industrial
automation, transport safety, and unique
problem solving. He currently has support
agreements with the worlds largest banking
groups, state department of corrections,
KEY MESSAGES TO APPLY THE MODEL state government road agencies, mining
groups and a number of top-level facility
maintenance companies. However, his greatest
achievement is the least technological
Dont repeat the mistakes of the past! project, that is the Truck Rollover Prevention
Dont get hung up on technology is the answer Program. This program has now incubated
Dont get into group-think situations two other programs for senior school maths
Dont move the problem elsewhere, it is usually worse and physics hands on education, as well as a
Do consult outside the immediate problem area trial program for driver awareness prior to
Do rework it if the solution looks too complex - KISS obtaining a learner driver permit. Both have
Do consider other areas and the impact on them had incredible success in the trials for both
Do remember perfect is the enemy of better students and teachers.


Seeing whos struggling
isnt always obvious.
Chances are one of your three mates
needs to talk. One simple question could
change their life. Just ask R U OK?




Around the World

Hundreds of gold miners have suffered Dozens of coal miners have been trapped An Asia-backed gold mine in 3
serious injury after a machete fight broke- under rubble after the Lalmatia open-cast northwest Tanzania has literally
out between illegal gold-mining syndicates Coalfields collapsed in northeast India. collapsed, leaving more a dozen
at the Shurugwi Gold Mine in Central workers trapped. 1
The mine owned by Eastern Coalfields
Limited (ECL) confirmed rescue workers The Chinese-financed RZT Gold
Some 732 artisanal miners were injured managed to dig out at least a dozen Mine in Nyarugusu recently
between in the 12 months to January 2017, bodies, but there are still at least 38 more suffered a partial collapse,
according to statistics gathered from a who were unaccounted for. trapping 14 people for at least
source at Shurugwi District Hospital. two days. Affected staff include
Landslides in the hard rock area below
a group of miners and their
The Zimbabwean mining blackmarket is ground-zero led to the collapse of heaps
Chinese-national supervisor.
infamous for its frequent machete wars of earth from the upper portion of the site.
according to zwnews. This is something rare, ECLs Rajmahal Rescue workers have succeeded in
project BN Shukla operation director told inserting an air pipe into the 35-metre-
Police blame the lack of machete war
the Times of India. deep shaft, according to mining oicial
victims who are willing to report assault
Yahaya Semamba.
for making it diicult to maintain accurate There was no mining taking place there at
crime statistics. Some 96 per cent of the Bhodaiya. We are digging but, at the same time, we
machete assaults go unreported. are reinforcing the walls so as to prevent
Oicials have not ruled-out ECL is to
them from collapsing while the work is
However, victims say they do not report blame, saying all those found dead were
going on, he told The Citizen.
crimes because mafia groups allegedly contracted workers. The miners were hired
threaten to kill them if they speak out. through Mahalaxmi Engineering Company, Relatives of those trapped waited anxiously
a Gujarat based sub-contractor tasked with for their family members to return to the
As a way to get medical assistance
excavating the coal mines. surface.
without a police report, I lied and told the
medical staff that I had a mine accident, We will not spare anyone found guilty of When [my husband] walked out of the
mine victim Conwell Ncube told zwnews. negligence, Jharkhand chief secretary house I thought I would see him the
Rajbala Verma says. next morning, but until 10pm he was yet
Small Scale Miners Shurugwi chairperson
to return and I started to worry, partner
Isaac Chibendera describes violence on Eyewitnesses say at least 12 trucks and
Neema Charles told IOL.
the gold fields is concerning. three earth-movers were also trapped
along with staff under the debris. Regional oicial Ezekiel Kyunga revealed
I got more than 500 artisanal miners
the cause of the accident is unclear.
injured last year only at the mine, and most Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
of the cases have not been reported to the has offered to help, with the Central The accident represents the third such
police, he says. Government announcing Rs 5 lakh in incident at different gold mines in the
compensation to each of the deceaseds same region since the year 2010
The artisanal miners do not report the
families. The State Government offered Rs Source:
violence perpetuated against them.
2 lakh in compensation plus Rs 25,000 to trapped-in-tanzania-gold-mine-collapse-7525160
Instead, they take the law into their hands
each of the injured. ECL also announced
by taking revenge on their persecutors
Rs 5 lakh in compensation for each of the
hence skyrocketing the number of people
deceaseds family members.
injured by machetes at the mine every
Source: articleshow/56262543.cms




Nine people are dead and further three One person is dead after an underground A dozen gold miners are recovering after
injured after a coal mine exploded in Chinas coal mine accident in Kentucky, USA. being exposed to toxic fumes caused by an
Hunan Province. accident in the Northern Territory.
Forty two-year-old Ray Hatfield of Hi Hat
Nearly 30 miners had been working was declared deceased after suffering fatal Newmont Mining recently confirmed a
underground when the accident occurred injuries while working at the mine, which is chemical accident created sulphur dioxide
in Lianyuan city, with 16 of them finding owned by R&C Coal LLC in Pikeville. fumes at the Granites Gold Mine in the
their way to the surface and another four Tanami Desert, about 540km northwest of
Hatfield worked as a conveyor belt
being saved by a rescue team. Alice Springs.
attendant, apparently with more than 23
The coal mine, which has an annual years of experience. The incident resulted from the flushing of
production capability of 90,000 tonnes, chemical reagent lines as part of shutdown
Details of the accident remain undisclosed,
belongs to a local company named Tengfei preparations, Newmont Mining told News
but the mine was shut down after
Coal Company Limited. Chinas state-run Limited.
the accident and stayed closed until
mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency, believes
the Kentucky Department for Natural Twelve workers were affected by gas
the company had already obtained all the
Resources Division of Mine Safety and flown to Alice Springs Hospital for
necessary permits and licences.
thoroughly investigated the place of the treatment.
Underground pre-shift security checks were accident.
Some employees suffered a sore throat,
always strictly executed during his time
I am asking all Kentuckians who nausea and chest tightness. One worker
working there, according to an anonymous
understand and appreciate the power of received an intravenous drip while a medic
miner who left the coal mine back in 2016.
prayer to please join with me in praying for treated him onsite.
While the State Administration of Work the family, friends and co-workers of the
Initial indications are that the affected
Safety is yet to confirm the exact cause Pikeville coal miner who tragically lost his
employees are recovering well from their
of the blast, Hong Kongs The Standard life on the job, Kentucky Governor Matt
symptoms, but [they] will continue to be
reported the site was a high gas mine. Bevin told the West Virginia Illustrated.
closely monitored, a Newmont Mining
Coal mine explosions are sadly United we stand, divided we fall; we are spokesperson says.
commonplace in China, with production Kentucky.
The workplace has returned to normal; the
often seen to be prioritised over safety
incident has been reported to regulatory
standards due to a lack of regulatory underground-mine-accident-kills-one-in-kentucky
authorities and will be fully investigated.
enforcement from authorities.
9ea6ae4612ceb4f289823c37eed / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 55



Address smelly
work sites before
they become a
real stinker
Many activities at a mine can create very pungent smells, annoying workers and people on neighbouring
properties. Phil Abernethy reveals there are some simple steps to avoid unnecessary disputes about air pollution
that could end in costly clean-up and containment expenses.

ometimes arguments can arise over Most mine sites will not have to deal with Four main approaches may be applied
confusion over what exactly pollution is. odour complaints due to the distance mining separately, or in combination:
For the record, pollution is the addition to activities are located from residential sites.
the ecosystem of something detrimental to it. However, this may not always be the case site selection and design layout: Ensure
for quarrying operations that can be subject the size and shape of the site maintains an
One of the most important causes of to urban encroachment. Even then odour adequate buffer from surrounding land;
pollution is the high-energy usage by producing activities are unlikely. determine if local or topographical conditions
modern, growing populations. Air, water could exacerbate the odours; check the
and noise pollution are three different ways Odours can be caused by individual, appropriateness of surrounding planning
in which the environment can be polluted. identifiable compounds that can be zones and assess the likelihood of cumulative
While there is a monetary cost involved monitored using appropriate detection impacts with other activities.
with cleaning-up and containing pollution, equipment or complex mixtures of
there are far greater costs associated with compounds, often complicated to odour management at the source: Use
the devaluation of real estate, human health characterise. Australia has developed a alternative materials and equipment; select
issues and the effect on biodiversity. standard for measuring odours: AS/NZS design options to collect and manage
4323.3-2001 Stationary source emissions odours; implement quality control systems;
Pollutants do not need to directly harm method three determination of odour establish maintenance and training programs;
humans to have an environmental impact. concentration by dynamic olfactometry. use best available technology; contain the
A good example of this is carbon dioxide odour sources; work in negative air pressure
which, while relatively harmless to the human This method estimates the intensity of a buildings; run operations under favourable
body, is the prime driver in global warming. smell by presenting diluted air samples to weather conditions; reduce the rate of
This, in turn, can affect human health such trained panellists (trained noses). Results discharge and, in the case of stacks, increase
as increasing the incidence of malaria due to are given in OU/m3 (odour unit / per cubic the discharge height.
changing weather patterns. metre of air). One odour unit corresponds
to 40 ppb n-butanol, which is defined as the Management of odour dispersion: Provide
WHAT IS THAT SMELL? concentration of an odour in an air sample vegetation or other barriers to change the
Odour is a common air quality complaint that can be perceived by 50 per cent of patterns of odour dispersion; provide a buffer
and essentially a nuisance issue. Under the panellists (AS/NZS 4323.3:2001). around the facility by purchasing or taking a
different state and territory legislation, an lease on neighbouring properties; change the
organisation whose activities may cause BEST PRACTICE METHODS SHOULD BE height of discharge and dilute the odour with
an odour could be required to provide USED air using fans.
information on management practices or use
equipment that prevents or minimises the Operators of new and existing odour- Management of odour at the receptors:
odour. generating activities should employ best Ensure the buffer distance between your
practice methods to prevent or minimise operation and the neighbours is maintained
odour. by objecting to proposed land zoning


changes. Owning the buffer zone is the most ammonia). This method is more economically odour becomes. This gives a strong lead on
effect measure to maintain separation, even if efficient than incineration and adsorption how to deal with problem odours - dilution is
the zoning changes. on activated carbon, when the volume of the solution.
odorous gas to be treated is greater than
WHERE IS THAT SMELL COMING FROM? 5000 cubic metres per hour. The main types This can often effectively eliminate problem
of gas adsorption equipment include packed odour by simply mixing with a fan, supplied
Sources of odours can be classified into towers, plate or tray towers, spray towers, source of clean air.
two categories: Discrete point sources, venturi and fluidised-bed scrubbers.
such as stacks; and diffuse area sources,
such as anaerobic ponds. Point sources are It is important that hot, moist vapour streams
often easier to manage. The most common be cooled before contacting scrubbing
mitigation methods, which may be used in solutions. Condensers can be used to
combination, include: condense moisture.

PHYSICAL CHEMICAL Thermal oxidation, on the other hand, uses

dilution scrubbing high temperatures to destroy odorous
physical adsorption oxidation compounds by submitting odours to a high-
coverage incineration temperature for long enough to oxidise the
masking compounds.

Biofiltration involves biological processes
biofiltration bioscrubbers
(bacterial action) to remove odours. Bacteria
grow on inert supports, allowing contact
between gases and the bacteria itself. The
WHICH METHOD OF ADSORPTION SHOULD process is self-sustaining, but the systems PROFILE
BE USED? require careful maintenance as the bed on
which bacteria grows has to be replaced Phil Abernethy
Physical adsorbers commonly use activated regularly. ABSORB ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS,
carbon or alumina pellets impregnated DIRECTOR
with permanganate. These materials are Biofilters are relatively low-cost to build and Phil Abernethy is an environmental educator
highly porous and, consequently, there is operate. Many food processing plants require and a consultant who developed Australias
a large surface area upon which odorous treatment to be air contaminated with the first Certificate IV in On-Site Environmental
compounds may be adsorbed. Activated odour of cooking cabbage. The biofilter Management and Advanced Diploma of
carbon is generally chosen for point sources effectively removes all traces of odour and Environmental Management.
containing organic gases and vapours, or the adsorption media of pine bark can With a passion for the natural environment
some inorganic gases and some metallic be used if kept moist by water fed from a fostered from an early age, Phil is inspired
vapours. dripline. to share his experiences and offer industry
insight as part of his commitment to sharing
Vapour needs to be pre-treated before Bioscrubbers use the combined principles environmental knowledge.
it passes through activated carbon to of liquid scrubbing and biofiltration to After graduating with a B.E. (Chem, Hons),
improve the efficiency of the adsorbent. If its remove odours from gases. However, M.B.A., and completing Post Graduate Studies
temperature is high or if it contains dust, the bioscrubbers can only be used successfully in environmental impact assessment, Phil had
moisture content is high. if the contaminants can be removed from over three decades of experience in chemical
the waste gas by adsorption in water or engineering and providing environmental
best practice commissioning and operating
Liquid scrubbing of gases to remove odours water/activated sludge mixture. Furthermore,
sugar mills.
is carried out by directing the odorous gas contaminants must be biologically
stream through a suitable solvent to adsorb degradable. He established Absorb Environmental Solutions
odours, or by chemical treatment with a in 1996 and Absorb Training in 2009,
suitable reagent. Some commonly used and also founded the Institute of On-site
The test method described above essentially
Environmental Management.
solutions include sodium hydroxide (for determines how much dilution of the odour
hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans), sodium laden air is required to be detectable. The Visit for more
hypochlorite (for unsaturated organic more dilution required, the higher the odour information on Phil and his work.
compounds) and diluted sulfuric acid (for rating and therefore the more intense the / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 57



Training in
the resources
Recognising individual needs
in diverse environments
Accommodating the circumstances and needs of each individual worker is just as important as offering workplace
training to them, Rod Ramsay writes.

hen you board a flight, do you ever TRAINERS FACE MULTIPLE PRESSURES assist trainers in being able to identify the LLN
check to see if the pilot has a ticket? levels of individuals - namely, the Foundation
When you have an operation at the There are a lot of pressures at play; it is not Skills Assessment kit and guidebook entitled
hospital, do you ever ask the surgeon to see easy for trainers or workers in such demanding Diggin In.
their tickets? Like me, you probably dont, but environments.
you reasonably expect that someone does, The kit aligns with the Australian Core Skills
otherwise they shouldnt be there. Training helps keep Australian workforces Framework and addresses LLN levels for
proficient and safe, so there is no dispute that all RII qualifications. It contains information
Resources training in Australia is as diverse it is worth the effort. However, it is has become and assessments for each level, using
as the industry itself. Thousands of registered increasingly apparent that accommodating the competency standards and industry
providers across the country deliver a broad the circumstances and needs of each references to be able to determine whether
curriculum of courses, competencies, individual worker is just as important as the an individual will be able to succeed at a
certificates, qualifications and tickets to training itself. At the Resources Industry Skills particular level without further assistance.
people from all walks of life and at different Association, their view is that both more Great resources are available through the
stages in their careers. resources and learning are required for trainers website,
to become more effective in recognising and
Training delivery and accessibility within the managing individual needs. LEARN TO RECOGNISE BARRIERS TO
resources industry is further complicated by MENTAL WELLBEING
remote operations, technology upgrades, With respect to individual needs, a key area of
time constraints, long work hours, shift rosters, focus in recent years has been Foundation Another major area of trainer development,
and fly-in fly-out workforces that according Skills, which is a positive initiative designed apart from the technical skills and knowledge,
to recent studies are more vulnerable to to improve language, literacy and numeracy is being able to identify when someone has or
mental illness. (LLN). In other words, this refers to the ability is suffering from anxiety and/or depression. It
to speak, listen, read and write in English, and has become widely recognised and accepted
In addition to this, competence in this diverse use mathematical concepts. in our communities during recent years
industry is about more than just being able that there are many causes behind these
to perform a task; it is about understanding SKILLS ARE THE KEY TO COMPETENCE conditions.
and adapting to your work environment,
communicating well with people around you It is widely known that without adequate skills Conditions may not be obvious and even
and applying your skills and knowledge to a in those areas, individuals often struggle to be difficult to manage, if someone has
variety of situations, such as metal mining, demonstrate their competence either in the no understanding of anxiety, depression
coal mining, civil construction, quarries and classroom or in the field. In the resources and other related factors. These health
drilling. industry, there are two sets of resources to issues are not generally related to specific
competencies, so the student may be very Working many years in the industry has shown
capable and experienced. However, certain it is advantageous to have some know-how in
adverse behaviours may be obvious. helping individuals to access the support they
competencies, so the student may be very Working many years in the industry has shown
need outside of the technical aspects of their
capable and experienced. However, certain it is advantageous to have some know-how in
How to manage people with these issues is job.
adverse behaviours may be obvious. helping individuals to access the support they
not the key, rather how to be aware of them, There is no doubt that mine safety and health
need outside of the technical aspects of their
and for trainers to find out where to find more has improved. The training model has also
How to manage people with these issues is job.
information that will help them understand improved. But, training is not about having
not the key, rather how to be aware of them, There is no doubt that mine safety and health
certain behaviours. a ticket, its not about compliance. Its about
and for trainers to find out where to find more has improved. The training model has also
understanding what we all have to do to
information that will help them understand improved. But, training is not about having
There are many organisations where you can ensure we have safe productive mines.
certain behaviours. a ticket, its not about compliance. Its about
get further information, such as Beyond Blue,
understanding what we all have to do to
Mates in Construction and the more recently The question for all of us, is quite simply, do PROFILE
There are many organisations where you can ensure we have safe productive mines.
launched Mates in Mining.
get further information, such as Beyond Blue,
we have the current knowledge and skill to
carry out our responsibilities in a way to ensure
Rod Ramsay
PROFILE Industry Skills Association, CEO
Mates in Construction and the more recently The question for all of us, is quite simply, do Resources
Read their articles here: our own safety and health and the safety and

launched Mates in Mining.
we have the current knowledge and skill to
health of others. If you cant answer that, you
carry out our responsibilities in a way to ensure
Rod RamsayRamsay
has worked in the training sector
of the industry for more than 30 years, probably need a bit more training. Resources Industry Skills Association, CEO
Read their articles here: our own safety and health and the safety and and is passionate about ensuring there is a Rod Ramsay has worked health of others. If you cant answer that, you vocational education and in the training
training systemsector
studies/p/mates-in-mining Until we achieve our goal of acceptable risk of thefor
industry for more than 30competent
years, probably need a bit more training. works everyone and ensures
and zero incidents we must continue to and is passionate
people are on the about
job. ensuring there is a
TRAINERS NEED TO BE MULTI-SKILLED improve the knowledge and skill of all mine vocational education and training system that
studies/p/mates-in-mining Until we achieve our goal of acceptable risk works for everyone and ensures competent
workers. Training is so much more than just
and zero incidents we must continue to people are on theSkills
job. Association (RISA)
Trainers within the resources industry need simply having a ticket. Resources Industry
TRAINERS NEED TO BE MULTI-SKILLED improve the knowledge and skill of all mine has a vision to engage with industry
to have a wide range of skills to perform
workers. Training is so much more than just partners to achieve leading practice in
effectively in diverse environments where Resources development.
Industry Skills Association (RISA)
Trainers within the resources industry need simply having a ticket. workforce RISA plays an
their students are located. They not only has a vision to engage with industry
to have a wide range of skills to perform important function in working with industry
need to have good knowledge and skills partners to achieve leadinga practice in
effectively in diverse environments where and regulators to maintain vigil on safety,
in the competencies they deliver, but workforce development. RISA plays an
their students are located. They not only training in the industry and to highlight areas
should be exceptional people managers, important
where function in and
improvements working with industry
innovation are
need to have good knowledge and skills
communicators, and listeners. and regulators to maintain a vigil on safety,
in the competencies they deliver, but training in the industry and to highlight areas
should be exceptional people managers, where improvements and innovation are
communicators, and listeners. needed. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 59



Aussie logistics
leader fills-up
A premier mineral sands mining company has procured new automated bag-lling technology,
writes David Boger.


UP TO 160,000 KG OF





ristal Mining Australia recently procured longer, he says, but thats still only about AUTOMATED CONTROL DELIVERS
Flexicon Corporation Australias Bulk Bag three minutes per 2000 kg bag. PRECISE MEASUREMENT
Filling System for the Qube Bulk Picton
Facility, 80km southwest of Sydney. A skid-steer loader empties bulk material into The units PLC touch screen automates
the feed hopper. The bottom of the hopper everything except for connection between
When Cristal decommissioned its in-house funnels the granular mineral into the steel bag straps and latches, and pulling the bag
bagging operation, Qube Bulk seized tube screw conveyor inclined at a 45-degree spout over the deflated spout seal.
the opportunity to improve sandbagging angle. The conveyor is equipped with a
operations by devising a bulk bag-filling heavy-duty stainless steel spiral to handle It is all programmed and its accuracy has
solution in concert with Flexicon. the free-flowing but abrasive mineral sands, been impressive, Pascoe says.
which range in density from 2200 kg/m3 to
The result was a mobile system that filled 2750 kg/m3. All you have to do is set the PLC for 1000 kg
up to 80 bulk bags or 160,000 kg with the or 2000 kg bags. Once the bag is in position,
abrasive materials per eight-hour shift The conveyor design itself does not include you press the start button, the inflator for
automatically, accurately and dust-free. any bearings or rotating seals, and the drive the bag spout starts automatically and the
motor is mounted above the discharge point, product starts flowing.
A division of Australias largest provider of preventing abrasive minerals from grinding
import and export logistics services, Flexicon on bearings or seals at the drive shaft. Load cells under the filler send signals to the
manages more than 20 million tonnes PLC to stop the conveyor when the bag gains
of bulk product shipments per year. This A pneumatically-operated product sampler the desired target weight.
now extends to filling bulk bags with three automatically captures a 142g specimen from
different types of abrasive mineral sands. the material stream during the fill cycle, for The PLC also automates other aspects of the
product quality documentation. process including activating the powered
QUICK TURNAROUND DEMANDS roller conveyor and product sampler and
MOBILITY Pascoe plans for greater productivity as his other actions based on feedback from
crew becomes acclimated to the new system. sensors.
Bulk truck shipments from Cristals Mineral
Separation Plant are delivered to storage We are targeting 100 bags in an eight-hour
sheds at Qube Bulks Picton Facility. With shift, he says.
limited lead time for outgoing orders, the
company admits productivity is a critical part That will allow us to fulfill a typical
of the bulk-bagging process. 40-container order in about five working
Often due to market situations, we receive
orders fairly late and need to bag the product The short turnaround is critical because
in a short timespan to get the shipping Pascoes biggest scheduling concern
containers loaded with bulk bags and to is the time spent between releasing of
the port on-schedule, Qube Bulk regional shipping containers for pick-up and packing
manager Jos Pascoe says. containers to meet shipping deadlines.

The need to respond to orders for any

combination of the three materials stored in
different sheds demanded a mobile solution.
In keeping with Australias focus on workplace
Flexicon proposed a skid-mounted mobile health and safety, Pascoe required operation David is vice president, global business
development at Flexicon Corporation,
bulk bag filling station with a 2.5 sqm that was both ergonomic and efficient. To
which is headquartered in Bethlehem,
capacity hopper and a 220mm-diameter, this end, the pivot-down fill head allows
Pennsylvania, USA. During his tenure at
3m-long rigid tube screw conveyor to move safe, rapid connection of bag loops to the Flexicon, he previously held the positions
materials to the bulk bag fill head. The filler latches without standing on the roller of service engineer, applications engineer,
solution was promised to deliver 20m3 per conveyor, straining to reach overhead sales manager, and sales and marketing vice
hour of material into bulk bags weighing bag connection points or inserting hands president. He holds a Bachelor of Science
up to 1000kg or 2000kg each. The skid between fill head components. degree in chemical engineering from the
measures 4m by 2.25m and the unit stands Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New
3.4m high. Dust is contained by an inflatable bag spout York.
seal and a telescoping discharge chute Flexicon is touted to be a global leader
A forklift moves the mobile filler between between the conveyor outlet and filler inlet, in the design and manufacture of bulk
storage sheds, depending on which material and by venting displaced air and dust to a handling equipment, with manufacturing
needs to be loaded. Pascoe claims the filter sock. facilities located on four continents. Flexicon
system, including its 2.75 m-long offload roller manufactures a broad range of equipment
including flexible screw conveyors, tubular
conveyor, can be set up and running at a new Once a bag is filled latches automatically
cable conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems,
location within 20 minutes. release bag loops, and the roller conveyor
bulk bag fillers, bulk bag conditioners, bulk
moves the bag out of the filling area for bag dischargers, weigh batching systems,
FROM BULK TO BAG IN THREE MINUTES tagging and transfer to the shipping manual dumping stations, drum/box/container
container. dumpers, and custom-engineered plant-wide
Once an order is received and the filling systems integrated with new or existing
station is positioned in the appropriate Features like easy bag attachment and no processes.
storage shed, Pascoes crew can fill up to 80 manual handling of loaded bags or pallets
bags per eight-hour shift. Pascoe says from minimise worker exposure to potential
Flexicon Corporation (Australia)
that timeframe about half is actually spent injuries, Pascoe says.
filling with the material and the other half 78 Westgate Street, Wacol Qld 4076
spent placing pallets, hanging empty bags We were concerned about workers being Phone: 07 3879 4180
and conveying filled bags out of the station. exposed to dust in the storage sheds, but the Email:
filler discharge chute contains all [the] dust.
Obviously, filling larger bags takes a bit / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 61



Fibre and sensors take

centre-stage at
global event
Fibre-optic and photonics sensor technology were hot topics at an international event held in Brisbane, writes
Saiied Aminossadati.

he 2nd international Fibre-optic and ADVANCEMENTS RANKED HIGH ON THE fibre-optic sensing systems for long distance
Photonic Sensors for Industrial and Safety AGENDA remote strain/temperature/vibration
Applications Conference (OFSIS2017) measurements.
recently welcomed experts in fibre-optic and The plenary session focused on advancement
photonics sensors from around the world. in fibre optic and photonic sensors. Professor Finally, Professor Perry Ping Shum from
Kenneth Grattan from George Daniels Nanyang Technological University in
The event hosted by The University of Professor of Scientific Instrumentation, City, Singapore discussed the advantages of
Queensland was held on 8-10 January 2017 at University of London was the first plenary fibre-optic sensors such as light weight,
the University of Queensland. speaker. He says fibre-optic sensors have immunity to radio frequency interference and
been developed extensively over the last electromagnetic interference, high sensitivity,
The conference provided a unique interactive thirty years. compact size, corrosion resistance, easily
platform for the research and industrial multiplexing and potentially low cost.
communities to discuss the fibre-optic However, in recent years, important
and photonic sensing technology, their applications of these systems have been EVENT CREATES DISCUSSION ON
laboratories and field trials, and new developed to meet a range of challenging RESEARCH
insights into their advanced manufacturing industrial applications. Civil and structural
techniques and applications. engineering industries have been aware of The conference also included an industry-
the need for better monitoring of the multi- research discussion panel session that
Areas discussed throughout the conference billion-dollar civil infrastructure, whether it focused on opportunities and challenges for
included: be bridges, buildings, towers or other critical the development and utilisation of fibre-optic
fibre-optic sensing technologies parts of what makes modern towns and cities and photonic sensors in various industrial
distributed sensing systems function well. applications.
environmental monitoring
safety in industry: Mining, oil and gas, GADGETS ADAPT TO DIFFERENT The session was chaired by Dr Jeremy Davies
food, defence, nuclear power ENVIRONMENTS and leaders of various research centres
public safety and industries including geotechnical
intelligent safety instruments Professor Benjamin Eggleton from the engineering, mining and oil and gas (UQ,
biomedical and medicine Australian Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Rio Tinto, Anglo American, China National
Devices for Optical Systems presented Petroleum Corporation, Emtek, Insulect
The conference saw four plenary sessions, the development of integrated devices, Australia, METS Ignited) as well as original
25 keynote, 16 technical and over 30 poster consisting of chip-scale electronics equipment manufacturers (Joy Global,
presentations to more than 150 delegates possessors, optoelectronic devices and Yokogawa, AP Sensing, Micron Optics), and
from more than 10 countries across academia on-chip acoustic devices, that sense, world experts from fibre-optic and photonic
and industry. The conference was technically analyse, respond to, and manipulate their sensing research centres participated in this
sponsored by IEEE Photonics Society environment. session.
conference chair Dr Saiied Aminossadati
says. Professor Yun-Jiang Rao from the Key Conference secretary Moe Amanzadeh says
Laboratory of Optical Fibre Sensing and the panel discussion looked into the status of
Papers selected to feature at the conference Communications in China discussed recent fibre-optic and photonic sensing technology
have been published by Measurement and progress in fibre-optic sensors for industrial in all industrial applications and identify the
IEEE Xplore after a rigorous peer-review and safety applications. He reviewed sensing opportunities and challenges for it use in
process. systems for high-temperature strain sensing mining industry.
and pressure measurements, and distributed



Dr Saiied Aminossadati and his team are
conducting extensive fundamental and applied
research on various fibre-optic based sensors.
This includes the development of gas sensors for
underground mining applications, distributed
temperature and acoustic sensing systems for
conveyor belt monitoring, robust monitoring
systems for roof deformation in underground
mining, slope stability in surface mining and
shape sensing systems for mining equipment.
These projects have received financial support
from the mining industry and Australian Coal
Association Research Program.

Dr Aminossadati began his engineering career in

1984, and qualified with BEng in 1989, MEng in
1994 and PhD in 1999. He joined The University
of Queensland as an engineering lecturer in
2006. He has been involved in the development
of mining engineering curriculum at the national
level for the Mining Education Australia since
2007. He is the leader of mine ventilation and
fibre-optic sensing research at the University of
Queensland and has successfully received several
internal and external competitive research
grants. He has published more than 110 peer-
reviewed Journal and Conference papers and
given more than 40 oral presentations.

He has gained international recognition for his

research on thermos-fluids, underground mine
ventilation and fibre-optic sensing systems. He is
using his close relationship with mining industry
to introduce new technologies in this industry and
collaborating with a number of national and
international institutes in this field. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 63





In an era where we scarcely blink when a probe lands on an asteroid, why do

major industries continue to kill workers in the same old ways? University of
New South Wales Professor Michael Quinlan writes a lack of will and not a
lack of know-how is behind the ten pathways to death and disaster.

n mining, apart from electrocution and Flaws in risk assessment Again, the same pattern failures played a
incidents with machinery, the ways miners Flaws in management systems recurring and conspicuous role in these
are killed fires and explosion, falls of Flaws in system auditing incidents, including the fire at BPs Texas
ground, falls from height, inrush/inundations Economic or reward pressures City Refinery that killed 15 workers and
and asphyxiationhave been known for compromising safety the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster
hundreds of years. They have also been the Failures in regulatory oversight that killed 11 workers and did monumental
subject of regulation in the United Kingdom Worker or supervisor concerns that environmental damage.
and other wealthier countries for more than were ignored
150 years. Poor worker or management CLEAR LESSONS
communication and trust
With a litany of death and disasters to Flaws in emergency and rescue Almost all these incidents arose from causes
learn from, why are incidents like the fatal procedures that were both predictable and preventable.
explosions at the Upper Big Branch mine in In most cases there was clear evidence
the United States and Pike River mine in New Almost every incident had at least three of of serious flaws long before the incident
Zealand, which both killed 29 coal miners in these pattern causes. Well, over half had five that were ignored by management. Flaws
2010, still occurring? or more. Several, like Pike River, had all 10; were not addressed by regulators due to a
this applied to both single fatality incidents lack of resources or effective enforcement
Even in workplaces with shorter histories, and multiple fatalities. measures.
like oil rigs, repeat disasters still occur. These
repeat incidents often arose from strikingly The most common pattern flaws included There was often a clear interaction between
similar causes, or pattern failures. Failures design, engineering and maintenance pattern failures. One recurring connections
or flaws are not error or deficiencies in safety failures, failures to heed warning signals, was that cost-cutting and production
culture a popular but ambiguous concept. flaws in management systems, worker and pressures often underpinned failures in
other concerns that were ignored, poor engineering and maintenance, as occurred
Failures or flaws arise from conscious emergency procedures, and failures in at BPs Texas City refinery in 2005. Other
decisions by those in charge of workplaces, regulatory oversight. flaws like inadequate rescue and emergency
by governments or those responsible for procedures were evident at the Piper Alpha
enforcing safety legislation. The book also examined workplace disasters North Sea oil rig fire in 1988 that killed
in other high hazard workplaces including 167 workers, and the Pike River coal mine
DEADLY PATTERNS airplanes/aviation, major hazard facilities, explosion that killed 29 miners in 2010.
factories, oil rigs and refineries across a
In my book, Ten Pathways to Death and wider timescale, 1980 to 2011, and array of Changes to work organisation including
Disaster Learning from Fatal Incidents in countries. downsizing and restructuring can rapidly
Mines and Other High Hazard Workplaces,
I reviewed the official investigations into
23 fatal mine incidents in five countries:
Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and
the United States between the years 1992
and 2011. Directors take credit for the nancial success of organisations
The examination revealed 10 recurring
but very few appear to take a corresponding responsibility
pattern causes: for failures that result in the death of those that work for
them. That this bizarre situation is accepted as normal is
Engineering, design and maintenance telling about what the rhetoric about safety coming rst
Failure to heed warning signs
really means. / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 65



Michael Quinlans new book

provides a devastating critique
of failed safety management and
regulatory practices in vogue at
modern workplaces.

corrode even initially robust safety regimes. pay incentives and bonuses and the use of OBSCENE RHETORIC
The outsourcing and offshoring of aircraft contractors.
maintenance in the USA was responsible for In all five countries there was evidence of a
at least six serious airline incidents, including WORKER INSPECTORS pervasive mantra of the need to reduce the
three multiple fatality crashes, between 1995 regulatory burden on business or red tape,
and 2009. My findings provide a clear guide for an obscenity in the context of work safety
interventions. Unfortunately, the current laws whose goal is to stop the spilling of
NOT LISTENING political economy of safety makes this blood at work.
unlikely to occur in anything other than a
Fatal incidents examined in the book also sporadic and partial fashion. MINE CHARGES
repeatedly pointed-out serious flaws in
safety management systems. This included In two countries, Australia and New Zealand, Unions and campaigners have welcomed
a focus on routine risks, like relatively regulatory intervention after serious the November 2014 indictment on criminal
minor injury, behaviour and personal safety incidents did address many of the pattern safety charges of the former head of a US
rather than process safety. This approach causes of deaths in mining. This included mining firm with an unmatched record
presumed quite incorrectly that managing improving enforcement systems and of fatalities and safety violations. Donald L
routine risk would also minimise the chance mandated requirements on management Blankenship, former chief executive officer
of low frequency/high impact events systems, including protocols to deal with of Massey Energy Company, is charged with
(sometimes, like at Deepwater Horizon, potentially dangerous incidents, alongside conspiracy to violate mandatory federal
referred to as black swans). detailed regulation on known hazards. The mine safety and health standards and a
mines inspectorate was also overhauled to string of other offences.
Systems were typically top down, ensure regulations were enforced including
with limited and ineffective feedback regular auditing of safety systems and both In the US, the effect of almost 30 years of
loops to report on problems or failures. the reporting and investigation of high- regulatory erosion is evident in repeated
Disempowering workers and marginalising potential incidents. failures of regulatory oversight, like the
unions exacerbated this problem. 2013 ammonium nitrate explosion at the
Another critical element of the new regime West Fertilizer Company in Texas that killed
The need for management to listen to safety was empowering worker representatives 15. In Australia, a union-hostile Federal
concerns raised by workers, supervisors in mines to take on most functions of Government has reviewed safety laws in the
and others was a serious concern, although government mine inspectors, including area of directors responsibilities, the powers
relatively few official investigations into roving full-time union safety officers. This of safety representatives and right of entry
incidents explored this issue. Legislation system, with origins dating back to the for unions.
in Norway and Australia that gives worker 1870s, provides an additional source of
representatives in high-hazard industries, oversight with one clearly dedicated to The failure of governments to hold boards
especially mines and oil rigs, the powers protecting workers. of directors accountable for their decisions
to better safeguard workers, remains the affecting safety and their connivance in
exception. Since introduction of this regime in the two the weakening of unions and worker input,
major mining states of Australia during the has also limited any incentive for learning.
This highlights how disempowered workers late 1990s, there has been no mine disaster Prosecution, let alone conviction or gaoling
are the lack of respect given to their at a time when there has been a substantial of directors whose decisions (including the
knowledge and concerns even in industries expansion of mining activities. failure to consider safety consequences)
where there is a significant risk of death, like contributed to deaths, is exceptionally
dock work, seafaring, construction, oil rigs In at least two of the other three countries, rare and then usually limited to smaller
and mines, and after a disastrous incident. Canada and the USA, there was no companies.
such learning and indeed the rise of
Some popular explanations of disaster and neoliberalism has seen a progressive These facts are eloquent testament to
death at work did not stand up to scrutiny. weakening of occupational health and the point that irrespective of the rhetoric,
The incidents did not arise from complex safety by encouraging hazardous forms workplace safety does not come first,
technology, unknown hazards, poor safety of work organisation, trying to marginalise or even second or third when it comes
culture or simple human error. unions/collective voice, undermining to the priorities of governments or most
labour standards (with mantras about the corporations.
Unsafe behaviour was at most the last need for flexibility and removing regulatory
failure point in a system that was already burdens on business), cutting resourcing GLOBAL CATASTROPHE
severely corroded, and such behaviour was to inspectorates and promoting ineffective
commonly both condoned and conditioned forms of light touch regulation. While the book focused on five rich
by management through poor training countries with longstanding regulatory
and supervision, production pressures or regimes and some level (though corroding)


knowledge is not created in a social vacuum.
The political economy perspective argues that safety, including workplace disasters, can only
be understood in the context of the distribution of wealth and power within societies, and
dominant social policy paradigms that privilege markets and prot, production or economic
growth over safety.

of accountability the same pattern causes DELIBERATES NOT ACCIDENTS

were identified in incidents in high hazard
workplaces in low to middle income Failure and flaw are not interchangeable
countries like Brazil and China. with the term error. Failures and flaws
may include errors of judgment but to see
The same point can be made with regard failures and flaws only in terms of errors
to the 2014 mine disaster in Soma,
would be both too narrow and misleading.
Turkey where 301 miners died and there
Errors suggest mistakes. As this book will
was evidence of inadequate rescue
show, the failures and flaws leading to
and emergency procedures and poor
inadequate regulatory oversight to name but mine disasters are more often the result of
two pattern causes. conscious decision-making and structured
in the sense that they are the result of
While the same pattern causes appear priorities, hierarchies, domains of authority
to apply to these countries there are and even ideologies.
differences, most notably more endemic
corruption of the political and regulatory WHOSE SAFETY CULTURE?
apparatus and weaker accountability to the
community. For example, the failure to hold
The problem is, however, not simply a
or make public official investigations.
lack of specificity but what the concept PROFIL E
The capacity of unions and community
has tended to overlook, de-emphasise or
disguise. Its general application has been
groups to raise safety concerns is often PROFESSOR OF UNIVERSITY OF NSW SCHOOL
seriously compromised by repressive one where factors that structure work OF MANAGEMENT
actions of the state. In states like China, this the pressure for profit and production, Michael Quinlan is professor in the School
avenue is made almost impossible by the legislative regulation and the like are treated of Management at the University of New
South Wales and also holds a fractional
states failure to tolerate independent unions at best in a fragmented way or more often
appointment in the Business School,
or community dissent. ignored. The notion of culture implies shared Middlesex University, London. Individually
corporate or organisational values, but such or in a team, he has prepared a number of
Global supply chains are increasingly a notion of sharing is misleading. reports on occupational health and safety
facilitating the erosion of safety standards for governments (including investigations
by moving work to countries with minimal and audits) in Australia and New Zealand
WHAT WE DONT KNOW WE KNOW including trucking safety (2001 and 2008),
safety standards and no protocols for raising
the Beaconsfield gold mine fatality (2006-
standards as part a free trade agenda. 07), Comcare Review (2008), Pike River mine
Belated or ineffective intervention was
The 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse in disaster (2011) and audits of the Tasmanian
Bangladesh which killed over 1100 mainly commonly enormously costly in social, mines inspectorate (2010, 2012 and 2014).
garment factory workers, many producing economic and human terms because the
clothing for the West exemplifies this. problem had been allowed to escalate.
He has served on a number government
The study [EEAs 2001 Late lessons of early
OHS advisory bodies, including the Expert
Until these problems are redressed fatal warnings] provided a powerful argument Reference Group on post-Pike River mine
incidents and disasters that are entirely that major risks of this type could be safety regulation and the NZ Extractive
preventable will continue to occur in both foreseen and remedied at an early stage, Industry Advisory Group.
rich and poor/middle income countries, if the precautionary principle was applied
even if the risk of death remains far higher in acting in ways that gave the benefit of Michael has also been a member of
the latter.
doubt to caution once credible evidence for international teams preparing reports on
labour inspectorate responses to new and
concern was found.
Well-established knowledge about what emerging risks at work for the European
causes these incidents, and how they can Commission (2011), and a report on the
be remedied, will continue to be ignored It has been through the progress of error determinants of OHS practice for the EU
that we have had evolutionary maturation. Occupational Safety and Health Agency in
while more fashionable but ineffective
2013). He has also done expert work for
measures like promoting safety culture and When things are uncertain, sometimes trial
SafeWork Australia (including a discussion
behaviourally based safety hold sway. and error learning or the precautionary paper on supply chains and networks
principle are all we have. We take calculated in 2013) and the International Labour
Photo credit: American Friends Service risks but dont know the outcome. Organisation - including a working paper on
Committee Regional Communication non-standard work and OHS in 2015.
Coordinator Bryan Vana / Summer 2017 / AUSTRALASIAN MINE SAFETY JOURNAL 67

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