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World Tunnel Congress 2008 - Underground Facilities for Better Environment and Safety - India

Risk assessment for deep underground work spaces
Jukka Pukkila & Pekka Särkkä
Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

SYNOPSIS: The sites of this work were Pyhäsalmi Mine of Inmet Mining Corporation, Tytyri Mine of Nordkalk Oyj Abp, Orivesi Mine of Polar Mining Corporation and Onkalo of Posiva Ltd., which is an underground rock characterisation facility for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The objectives of this work were to develop work safety of the workers and of the sites as well as to obtain knowledge of hazards of underground mining and excavation process. To reach these objectives ”The Risk Assessment at Workplace” method was developed more suitable for assessing the risks of underground mining as well as for underground rock excavation work. The first phase of risk assessment, hazard identification was carried on in a way in which workers themselves identified them in their own work. At the second phase of the risk assessment, risks were formed and their magnitudes were defined for the most often identified hazards by two parameters - probability and consequences. Proposals for actions to either reduce the magnitudes or to eliminate the risk were developed by meetings with the representatives of the company management, industrial safety organization, occupational health care and workers themselves as well as the risk assessment team of HUT.



The risk assessment for underground mines and deep underground spaces is the third project of Finnish Work Environment Fund, implemented by Laboratory of Rock Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology. The project was done during the years 2006 to 2008. The mines involved were Pyhäsalmi zinc, copper and sulphur mine, Orivesi gold mine and Tytyri limestone mine. The underground space ONKALO was selected due its special nature as an underground rock characterisation facility for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Clients and the main financers of the project were the selected places for implementation, the Finnish Environmental Fund, and Ministry of Social Affair and Health with a total amount of 80 000 €. The primary objective of this project was to evaluate the hazards at each workplace recognized by the workers and to improve the safety and health by developing these areas of work with the resources available by the enterprise involved. The second purpose was to increase knowledge of general hazards existing in mine and rock excavation work. To reach this primary objective the work was divided to two phases. The first phase was the evaluation of the hazards existing in various work processes into four sections - physical

hazards, accident hazards, ergonomic as well as chemical and biological hazards. In addition the hazards resulting from mental stress were evaluated. In the second phase the risks were formed and their magnitudes were defined from the most recognized hazards by their probability and consequences. 2. THE METHOD OF RISK ASSESSMENT

The risk assessment was realized according to Figure 1. The most important aspect is that the management of the enterprise involved is fully committed in the process. This means that it is formally ready to release both resources to the evaluation and measures suggested to the further risk management activities. 3. PLANNING OF EVALUATION

Effective planning of risk evaluation demands for work group which organizes and plans the risk evaluation. This work group can be a work safety group or a joint production council or a separate group for risk evaluation in which there are represented persons according to the MEWprinciple (Management, Experts, Workers) (Figure 2). This does not mean that all persons in the group will participate the work with equal amount of


HAZARD IDENTIFICATION Hazard identification consists of identification and documentation of all hazards and safety conditions which affect the safety of workers in regular and irregular works and exceptional conditions. Figure 2. Efficient evaluation group consists typically of 3 – 5 persons. 2. The workers’ representative. Risk assessment procedure.Figure 1. The evaluation should be directed to different target in work places and work phases. the following personnel participate and commit to the assessment: management (M). working points. Risk assessment procedure. not divide the evaluation into too detailed targets. who have enough experience of his job can join in the evaluation group concerning his own special work. 4. Use of experts is essential in evaluation subjects where evaluation groups do not have enough knowledge. however. experts (E) and workers (W). (M). departments.principle. effort at the same time but that each party will be committed to the targets and will participate to the evaluation when ever the evaluation is focused to the party. the following personnel participate and commit to the assessment: management experts (E) and workers (W). According to MEW. Evaluation group has to get acquainted into the general risk assessment rules and to the safety work done in the enterprise as well as to the material concerning it. 1.principle. parts of processes or according areas limited to specified construction which does. Hazard identification is recommended to be done 1762 . In the beginning it is advised to choose a method which can be examined in general level and by which it is possible to examine methods in more detail at some specified targets. According to MEW.

Necessitates hospital treatment and causes over 30 days absence. Table 3. DETERMINING THE MAGNITUDE OF RISKS large number of hazards identified. The completed lists are collected and stored by the risk assessment team. Risk seriousness. Incident which happens regularly but not repeatedly. Accident which happens often and regularly. Although the target is to eliminate or minimize all identified risks. permanent disability or death. the magnitudes of the risks are determined. Although the target is to eliminate or minimize all identified risks. C) 6.consistently and initiating first to the previous documentations on hazardous situations. DECIDING ON THE MEASURES AND IMPLEMENTING THEM When the hazard identification has been done. For example. it is necessary to take into consideration the increasing safety level and its scope. After this the working conditions and methods are examined by following and interviewing the workers. For example constant truck traffic causes accident hazard. Cause 3-30 days absence. According to the magnitude of risk the priority of measures and needed resources can be defined. it is necessary to give priority to preventation of the biggest risks. Determining the probability ( p) of risks Improbable Possible Probable Happens seldom and irregularly. For example serious illnesses caused from work. Forms where possible hazards are listed are given to the workers to make the identification process simpler. Table 2. DETERMINING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RISKS There will be typically many hazards to be identified. Determining the seriousness ( C ) of consequences 1. Limit for measures is commonly defined as: 1-2 does not require immediate measures but 3-5 requires (Table 3). Incident causes longer sickness or consequences or long slight harm. eliminated. during maintenance. 5. Insignificant 2. The magnitude of risks (R) is determined generally by the function of probability of appearing (p) and seriousness of consequences (C): R = ƒ (p. cause the maximum of 3 days absence. SELECTING AND IMPLEMENTING THE MEASURES At the stage of hazard identification there will be According to measures and their selection the risks should be anticipated. Serious Incident will cause sickness or harm which will go over and do not presume visit to the first aid. 8. Incident causes permanent irreversible damage. things must be removed from conveyor belt manually. For example cut wound or slight burn. For example headache or bruise. Probability Improbable Possible Probable Slight 1 insignificant risk 2 slight risk 3 moderate risk Consequences Harmful 2 slight risk 3 moderate risk 4 significant risk Serious 3 moderate risk 4 significant risk 5 intolerable risk 1763 . Harmful 3. Limit for measures is normally determined like in Table 4: When risk magnitude is 1-2 it does not need any measures but when it is 2-5 measures are needed. For example a fault in the working machine will cause dangerous situation. minimized or substituted by less significant ones. the rejection of biggest risks must be prioritized. These lists name most of the hazards possibly existing in heir work. Cause visit to first aid. When selecting the measures to risks above the limit for measures. This way the most critical risks and those needing immediate action can be minimized or eliminated (Table 1 and 2). In carrying out Table 1. 7.

The experience based on this research work was applied and the same method was chosen for this research project “Risk assessment for underground mines and deep excavated spaces” with some modifications. the problem should be corrected in shorter time. reliability. the method used was the “Risk Evaluation at Working Places” /1/. It is necessary to compare separately the effects to law. possibilities given by technology as well as effects to the fluency of work.. possible opposition to change. There were 9 of these groups. Most important in occupational safety and health in all work places is a sufficient contribution and continuance in risk management. The risk that remains has to be evaluated separately during planning. The feedback to the workers has to be relevant. needed time and amount of work. Each group had to answer to hazard lists which represented best their actual activity and the works they did most of their time. the evaluation process has some value. Feedback is needed which secures that the risk is in control. 9. personnel and customer relations. Regularly done evaluation fits better to other work places than to workplaces where changes happen irregularly. To minimize the risk it might be necessary to put in a large amount of resources. reserve the resources and decide on the responsibilities of the implementers. the risk evaluation could not have been possible to analyse the risks involved in each particular job of underground work. This is why it is necessary to document the implemented measures. Implementing the measures is internal risk management of the enterprise in which risk assessment is a tool. IV significant V intolerable measures it is important to note the ratio of importance and difficulty. The previous research was done in open pits where the jobs were normally of single type. Measures depending on the magnitude of risks. as shown in Table 5. To be successful and productive in the implementation. The levels of risk at workplace. workers can do these and in addition many other jobs. In underground mines and underground excavation. Better cost effective solutions which does not result more costs should be considered. For this reason the lists of hazards were modified to be more suitable to this purpose. it is necessary for each measure to make a schedule. According to the situations it is also necessary to decide on the need for internal and outside resources. The work should not be started before the risk has been minimized. the work has to be permanently forbidden.Table 4. First the jobs were divided to groups which best represent the workers main activity most of the time. 10. so the advantages of the process can clearly be seen. more evaluation may be necessary to verify the significance by which more efficient need for control can be determined. The work should not be started or continued before the risk has been minimized. Minimization of the risk is needed but costs of preventive measures should be measured and limited. FOLLOW UP AND FEEDBACK to their own work and have positive influence towards their attitudes to work safety. according to resources and working conditions depend on the need of renewing the risk evaluation. If the risk is connected to current work. Measures have to be carried out during a determined time. cost efficiency. This way all the personnel will see the meaning of risk management 1764 . and after implementation. RISK I insignificant II slight III moderate Measures and schedule No need for measures or documentation Preventive measures not needed. for example drilling or charging. The new problem area appeared caused by underground miners’ and excavation workers’ versatile jobs. If the risk has very harmful consequences. When the measures have been carried out. If the lists of hazards used in Risks Evaluation at Working Places had been used in the form they existed in the original form. METHOD OF RESEARCH In previous research work of Helsinki University of Technology. interest groups or goals of the enterprise. If the risk cannot be minimized even with unlimited resources.

Accident hazards. This was because the time was limited to one day to 1765 . RESULTS OF HAZARD EVALUATION An example of a hazard list filled by all the workers at each of the sites is shown in Table 6. one for each type of hazard (Physical hazards. mechanical short hole bolting scaling mechanical wire netting mechanical E Maintenance works high power electric works low power electric works mechanical maintenance. 12. Ergonomic hazards. mainly to the mostly identified hazards. These lists were 5 pieces. manual welding manual scaling H Transporting materials transporting explosives transporting personnel transporting other transport ore transport I Other works mine surveying geological mapping piece sampling supervising chemical handling maintenance of safety equipment works in crushing plant 11. water and filling line works maintenance / control maintenance of wastewater lines /pumping shaft works road dragging road constructing and maintenance digging B Drilling drift drilling long hole drilling cable bolt drilling other bolt hole drillings boring drift raising.Table 5. full face raising C Blasting works drift blasting long hole blasting rock breaking by blasting breaking arching by blasting other blasting works D Mechanical supporting shotcreting cable bolting. Chemical and biological hazards and Hazards resulting from mental stress) (Figures 3 and 4). moving mechanical maintenance static drill bit sharpening daily maintenance / control F Loading and rock breaking loading remote loading mechanical rock breaking spraying water on rock piles G Manual reinforcing works bolt hole drilling wire netting rock bolt fitting/ welding cable bolting. RESULTS IN DETERMINING THE MAGNITUDE OF RISKS AND DECIDING ON THE MEASURES The determining of the magnitude of risks and deciding on the measures was done to a limited hazard. Division to 9 different types of jobs representing various works listed underneath A Construction and maintenance construction works ventilation.

1766 . The measures resulted from the risks were listed and recorded.5 average 42.7 Tytyri mine 24 6 5 9 1 7 6 2 5 3 44 1. Percentual distribution of hazards identified by different sites. Also many of the identified hazards in different working groups were same.3 Filled total A-Construction & maintenance B-Drilling C-Blasting works D-Mechanical supporting E-Maintenance works F-Loading and rock breaking G-Manual reinforcing work H-Transporting I-Other works Total (A-I) Filled/ worker Average age of workers Figure 3 . The determined hazards have been shown in Tables 7-9.Table 6. According to the documents.4 Total 151 30 31 30 18 44 27 6 23 21 230 1.8 Orivesi mine 33 8 9 10 7 7 4 0 5 4 54 1. Onkalo site 37 9 6 7 2 10 3 3 10 9 59 1. The schedule of actions depended on the magnitude of the risk at each site. These hazards should have been approximately 15 pcs. each site. the management and the persons involved in this work.3 35.3 45.8 40. This was done so that from the summaries of working groups identification percentage was taken and the ones that were over were treated.1 Pyhäsalmi mine 57 7 11 4 8 20 14 1 3 5 73 1. In practise the number of hazards was limited to 30. Identification percentages were for Onkalo 30 % and 50 % for all mine sites. Number of filled hazard lists collected in each research sites. had the responsibility to implement changes in activities. In addition five of the most identified or all over 30 % identified hazards resulting from mental stress were determined. equipment and possible processes to improve the safety by eliminating or minimizing the risks (Table 10).6 45.

Example of hazard identification list. physical hazards. CONCLUSIONS This research work showed that the risks in underground mines were much similar to an underground excavation construction site. These facts made it possible to use the same method in the risk assessment. 1767 .Work group: __________ Actual activity: __________________ Name: _____________________________ PHYSICAL HAZARDS Special notes: Figure 4. Also most of the equipment and machinery as well as the working conditions were similar. 13.

7 Table 8.5 Mental stress Identifications/person 126 3. 2.6 1398 42.Table 7. Onkalo Orivesi mine Pyhäsalmi mine Tytyri mine Sum of all sites 536 3.4 1811 31.2 82 3. Identified number of hazards to mental stress.4 included) Type of risk and its magnitude Constant noise Transport Onkalo site Orivesi mine Pyhäsalmi mine Tytyri mine 4 4 2 3 3 4 2 1768 . Onkalo Orivesi mine Pyhäsalmi mine Tytyri mine Sum of all sites according to hazard types 779 2008 1252 894 Physical hazards Accident hazards Ergonomic hazards Chemical and biological hazards Total identified Sum of identifications per person 121 333 194 150 184 569 369 376 332 713 463 303 142 393 226 165 798 21. Driving speed was added to working groups at Pyhäsalmi mine. Working group A-Construction and maintenance 4 different ergonomic hazards were added to Tytyri mine Table 10. Greatest risks and their magnitude at each inspected site (risks 2.6 4933 32.4 183 3.4 145 4. Identified number of hazards of each hazard type. Determined Onkalo Orivesi Pyhäsalmi Tytyri Total hazards mine mine mine per number From summary 15 15 17 1 12 59 of working groups From work 4 10 12 132 39 groups From 5 6 5 5 21 mental stress Total 24 31 34 30 119 1.4 Table 9.8 826 38. The of hazards determined as risks at each inspected site.

Between the years 1970 and 1986 1769 . From 1980 to 1984 he was senior reseach fellow at the Academy of Finland and came then back to HUT as associate professor. only Pyhäsalmi mine had a major difference to other sites. He obtained a Ph. From 1970 to 1972 he worked in the Outokumpu Mine as research engineer. In 1988 he joined Neste Oil and Gas. Sosiaali. The only differences were in the magnitudes of risks between different sites. This could occur of Pyhäsalmi being the deepest participating mine. thus the risks were found more serious. When comparing the sum of risks over the value of 2 (slight risk). This meant that there was no need to stop any activity permanently. Metso Minerals and Larox in application and sales positions both in Finland and abroad in Africa. Saudi-Arabia and Southern America. Tampere he worked for several companies including Outokumpu.ja terveysministeriö. then came back to HUT to make his postgraduate studies.D in Rock Engineering at HUT in 1999. Murtonen. The magnitude rating 5 (intolerable risk) did not appear in any of the inspected sites. Riskien arviointi työpaikalla – Työkirja.The results of hazard identification were similar. Pekka Särkkä graduated in Applied Geophysics from HUT in 1970. Since 1987 he has been research manager at HUT leading among others research programs ”Intelligent Mine” and ”Intelligent Mine Implication”. REFERENCE 1. and in 1997 he was invited to the Chair of Rock Engineering at HUT. M.D in Rock Engineering at HUT in 1978. BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE AUTHORS Jukka Pukkila graduated in Mining Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) in 1970. He obtained a Ph. Sandvik Tamrock. 2003. From 1993 to 1997 he was managing director of Concave Oy.