5 steps to reducing mine site work accidents in Australia
Australia’s mining culture is responsible for boosting the economy and immigration to the country, but lately it has also been responsible for numerous work-related deaths.
Mines can be found in every region of Australia, though most prevalent in the Western and Southern states. The government has set specific health and safety regulations for mining sites; after a lull in accidents, the number of fatalities and injuries in the field has increased this past year. How to keep workers safe has become a point of focus in the mining industry. Check out our tips to reduce mine site work accidents.
1. IDENTIFY POSSIBLE HAZARDS
It is essential to point out where potential danger lies. Pay close attention to:
· Incorrect use of fall arrest equipment
· Lack of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) procedures
· Runaway vehicles
· Vehicles over edges
· Electrical contacts
· Rock falls
· Pit wall failures
2. CLEARLY OUTLINE SAFE WORKING PRACTICES AND CONDITIONS
Most work site accidents happen because safety procedures are not followed. When new equipment or tools arrive, it’s important to familiarise and understand the precautions – especially as problems usually arise during times of confusion. Clusters of accidents have also been noted around the end of shift times, signaling a slip in coherence due to fatigue. Proper rest and meal breaks are essential for top form workers to maintain a clear thought process and high energy levels.
3. PROVIDE ADEQUATE TRAINING FOR WORKERS AND SUPERVISORS
Nearly half of all mine site deaths last year involved workers in their first year on the job, or in a new role. Consequently, managers should be conscious of new staff and provide adequate time to get acquainted with their role and site. Workers should know how to properly execute their roles and what hazards lie within their tasks, as well as how to properly protect themselves. Proper training and supervision not only raises the quality of work produced, but also saves lives. Leaders on mine sites should encourage a work culture that stands for safety, where those who speak up are praised instead of labeled “stirrers.”
4. MAP OUT AN EMERGENCY PROCEDURE PLAN
Detailed, specific emergency plans should be introduced to all staff and made clearly visible on site. Create a plan of action in case of disasters such as a gas outburst, spontaneous combustion, or contamination of air quality.
5. CONDUCT REGULAR SAFETY AUDITS
Once a safety plan is in place, systematic checks ensure the longevity of the program. Consistent monitoring can signal whether any adjustments need to be made, ensuring the highest safety standards are maintained at all times.
Naomi Fuller writes for Budget Temp Fencing. If you need assistance securing your mine site, contact Budget Temp Fencingon 1300 971 972. A friendly consultant can assist you, helping you increase workplace safety today.