Report: APP CMHS Project 4

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4.3. Moving Forward

Both the strengths and limitation of the implementation process have influenced the way forward for the Australian mining industry. The industry is moving toward an important change in thinking about risk; from focussing on the acceptability of risk to focussing on the adequacy of controls. This is a very important trend.

There is a greater emphasis on why we are using risk management - not just the process of risk assessment. The important message has become “not what you do – but why you do it”. This will broaden the application of and appreciation of risk management. This has also flowed on to principal hazards management. The introduction of trigger action response plans (TARPS) to identify and respond to triggers for dealing with hazards before they become severe, demonstrates a greater maturity in thinking about the management of major hazards. A sample TARP is shown in Appendix C.

The process of developing and implementing major/principal hazard management plans has now been in place for close to 20 years. It is now an appropriate time for a review of this process to see if hazard management plans are achieving what they were designed to.

The industry is currently moving to improved management capability with risk management. Risk management competence should and is being included in job descriptions for all managers – not just health and safety people. It should include decision making and how risk is viewed.

There are also some successes to build on. The lowering of injury and fatality rates has previously been discussed.

The CEO of one of the major mining companies, Anglo American PLC, has taken a very strong position on the importance of education as a part of the step change to improved health and safety. Previously, it has not been widely recognised that leadership can be improved by education. Anglo has demonstrated their confidence in the education process and content by developing and implementing a full organisational risk management education package for all employees and contractors. The express aim is to improve the organisations safety and risk management culture through education initially and ultimately behaviour change.

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