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Managing serious health and safety incidents in mining

Published by
World Coal,

ICMM has published practical guidance on preventing the most serious types of health and safety incidents in mining and metals.

The approach described in Health and safety critical control management: good practice guide is designed to identify and manage acts, objects or systems onsite - the ‘critical controls’ - that need to be in place to either prevent a serious incident occurring or minimise the consequences if a serious incident were to occur.

The critical control management (CMM) process is well established and in use in many high-hazard industries. However, this is the first time this approach has been captured in a single document designed specifically for the mining and metals industry. The report answers a need to ensure that effective controls are always in place. Although the risks are often well-known in mining and other industries, a lack of sufficient risk-identification and control management can lead to serious injury and fatalities of workers.

"We have a long way to go on our journey to the essential target of achieving zero injuries and fatalities", said ICMM President Anthony Hodge. "As with most new organisational initiatives, the successful implementation of CCM requires senior executive support. This document sets a consolidated and rigorous approach among ICMM member companies and beyond."

The publication presents nine steps: ranging from step 1 which helps develop the scope of CCM implementation, through to step 9 which offers guidance on appropriate response and action to be taken when critical controls are underperforming, leading to an incident. Supplementary material to the report includes the CCM journey model and mapping tool which is designed to help organisations assess their maturity and readiness in adopting the process.

The guide was launched at a mining industry workshop hosted by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa and will be presented to others in the industry through a series of regional workshops in Australia, South America, North America and Europe. The document forms just part of ICMM’s broader health and safety work program including a range of documents on good practice in health and safety management designed to support our principle of continual improvement.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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