MTA-AUS 2014

CONEXPO-CON/AGG VIP SHOW GUIDE contains Floor Plans and a complete listing of companies exhibiting at the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 trade show in Las Vegas March 3-7, 2014. It also contains 2014 forecasts for the Aggregate, Concrete and Cement industries

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42 MINING & TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIA 2014 | ISSUE 8 In your opinion, how is mine safety in Western Australia performing amongst signifcant growth in the sector? Well bearing in mind the increase in the large number of people over recent years from other industries, other backgrounds, it's actually been quite good. Earlier this year Safe Work Australia released fgures on safety performance, and mining actually didn't fgure in the top three, in fact we were something like ffth in the roll call. Industries like Warehousing, Transport, Fisheries, Farming, and Construction didn't perform as well in regard to fatality rates and things like that. So although you can never accept the situation when you are injuring people and worse still, when people are dying in the industry, the performance has been improving over time. It's certainly improved a lot in the last 10 to 20 years, however we've got a long way to go before we can say we've done a good job and we've got things MINE SAFETY down to zero. We had for the frst time [since records were kept], two years in Western Australia without a fatality, but of course since then we've had fatalities so we can't rest on our laurels – we have got a lot of work to do. What does some of that work include for the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP)? The Department sees its role as being proactive as well as reactive and hopefully we would aim to be as proactive as we can. We're probably about 80 percent proactive against 20 percent reactive. The reality is of course that we're there to ensure compliance and take appropriate action when compliance is not demonstrated, so we do have a reactive component to our work, however we're only going to get the improvements if we work together with the industry, with other regulators, and with the employees and their representatives. To do that efectively we've got to be proactive so we need to provide guidance, produce codes, provide opportunity to discuss issues, problems and areas where we can work together to eliminate the risk associated with the work that's being done. So it's a cooperative thing that we all have to, shall we say, put our shoulder to the wheel because unless we work together we're not going to achieve the aspirational goal of zero harm. On that, how does the Department work alongside industry representatives in order to remind them of their safety responsibilities and compliance issues? Do you have a good relationship there? We have a good working relationship, we respect each other. Obviously as a regulator we have a multiplicity of stakeholders and you've got peak body groups like the Chambers of Minerals and Energy and others, and then you have the Union bodies, and we have to maintain cordial relationships. Recently the minster in Aspiring to zero harm Simon Ridge, Western Australia's executive director for Resources Safety, speaks with Mining & Technology Australia about the state's mine safety performance and the Department of Mines and Petroleum's journey to zero harm.

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