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Crackdown on poor management in the Pilbara

iStock_000016911879LargeManagement and supervision at mine sites in the Pilbara is being scrutinized by the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Mines Safety Branch during a targeted campaign this month.

The crackdown aims to gauge and help improve the level of management and supervision at mine sites in the Pilbara.

DMP Inspector of Mines Craig Cullen said poor management is a major issue which must be addressed, with two fundamental factors for immediate attention.

“We will be making sure supervisors always have a presence on site, and don’t simply sit in an office,” he said.

“Inspectors will also be ensuring all workers participate in the safety management processes of their company – that they are fully aware of the procedures and know how to carry them out, should there be an emergency.

“You can have the best safety processes in the world, but it’s all useless if no one knows about them.”

Incidents at open pit mines over an 11 month period from January 2011 found 44 per cent of accidents involving equipment were caused by operator error and 12 per cent were a result of poor practice or planning, which perhaps would not have happened if adequate supervisors were present.

“There is a concern that with the current economic climate, there may be less time and money invested in supervision and management, which are necessary to ensure safety systems are maintained, monitored and implemented,” Mr Cullen said.

“It isn’t just the supervisors and managers fault, however, everyone must play a part in making WA’s mining industry as safe as possible.

“Companies must provide relevant training, support and mentoring, build teams, have clear communication and recruit the right people to ensure the best supervisors and managers are leading their teams,” he concluded.

At the end of the campaign, DMP will prepare a report to distribute to industry on its findings and recommendations.

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