New South Wales Mines Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) chairman Norman Jennings has revealed details of a working party of MSAC nominees currently developing a fatigue risk management standard for the NSW mining industry, in a Keynote Address to delegates attending The Safety Conference, held on Wednesday in Sydney.
The standard is being investigated with a view to developing an instrument that can be endorsed and implemented industry-wide.
“A united approach by all industry stakeholders is essential to the achievement of world class health and safety,” Jennings told Australian Mining.
“The starting point is a suggested standard that was developed as part of the Digging Deeper project and an agreed set of principles concerning the management of fatigue,” he said.
“The standard addresses hours of work issues, being informed by current work on fatigue risk management.
“The outcome is intended to be a specific document that ensures gaps in current fatigue guidance material can be closed.”
Jenning’s also called for industry leaders to act promptly and decisively if NSW mining is to be recognised as having world-class OHS performance.
“Industry leaders will need to consider carefully the following questions and, depending on their answers, act promptly and decisively,” Jennings said.
“What is your company doing to manage fatigue by eliminating or reducing risk factors, improve working relationships and consultation at all levels, and review the contribution of production bonuses and safety incentive schemes to improving OHS outcomes?
“Each of the NSW mining industry’s stakeholders — MSAC, NSW Department of Primary Industries, employers and employer organisations, workers and trade unions, and the all important providers of skills — will have different but complementary roles to play.”
According to Jenning’s, one of the MSAC’s priorities for the next 12 months is the development of a process to drive improvement in the NSW mining industry’s health and safety culture that will help achieve world-class health and safety performance.
“In November MSAC will engage with industry leaders in an OHS Summit to drive cultural change, building on experience in other industries and overseas, and on the common outcomes from the project’s Future Inquiry Workshops.”