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Targeted Assessment Report: Airborne contaminants underground

The Resources Regulator has published a consolidated targeted assessment report summarising the findings of assessments undertaken in relation to the hazard of airborne contaminants in underground metalliferous mines.

These assessments began in August 2017 and were completed at five mines. The targeted assessment is an in-depth look at the control measures for airborne contaminants and their implementation.

The assessments are undertaken by a multi-disciplined team of Resources Regulator inspectors using both desktop and on-site assessment. The findings of the assessments are grouped into those that are specific to the hazard of airborne contaminants, and those that could be generally applied to all aspects of critical control measure implementation.

All safety assessment programs can be downloaded from the department’s website.

General findings identified that:
? most mines had implemented recommendations provided in previous diesel exhaust
emissions targeted assessments. Consequently, improvements were observed in mine
documentation, static monitoring and health monitoring.
? broad brush risk assessments did not consider all areas of the mine and tasks undertaken,
including all surface processing areas such as chemical storage, laboratory and maintenance
activities.

Specific findings identified that:
? some mines did not comply with legislated requirements in relation to storage, labelling and
use of hazardous chemicals.

? training for maintenance personnel in relation to servicing sealed pressurised cabins fitted to
mobile plant did not fully capture the complexity of the sealing system.

The assessment process highlighted that:
? broad brush risk assessments must consider all areas of the mine and tasks undertaken,
including all surface processing areas such as chemical storage and laboratory, and
maintenance activities
? mine operators must ensure legislative compliance in relation to hazardous chemicals
including, storage, use, labelling, notification of manifest quantities and obtaining and
providing worker access to safety data sheets (SDS)

 

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