New guidelines for safer mining

A new program has been released to help manage worker fatigue on mine sites, the Mine Safety Advisory Council Chairman tells MINING DAILY.

A new safety guide line has been released to assist the mining industry monitor and manage the risk of fatigue.

Released by the New South Wales Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC), the guide line focused on potential contributing factors to fatigue including work and non work related causes, who a fatigue management plan would be aimed at, and the best way to manage the risks and combat fatigue related incidents.

Speaking to Mining Daily, MSAC Chairman Norman Jennings said “following a number of studies, fatigue was seen as the key issue at many sites.” The guide offers a cascade of measures and gives the industry a checklist to work against.

However, it does not come in on hours of work, that “is something agreed onsite,” Jennings said.

The Department of Primary Industries is coupling the release of the guide lines with a program to help sites implement it. In two to three years time it will also carry out a review of the program and guide lines.

Nikki Williams of the NSW Minerals Council said the mining industry has been addressing hours of work and fatigue management for some time, and this guideline builds on the work being done to improve safety.

The guideline outlines a list of potential triggers that may contribute to fatigue and a range of control measures that could be included in a personal fatigue management plan. “It’s the sort of thing that can be put into practice on the job, but also be just as relevant away from work for the 30,000 people employed in mining,” Williams added

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