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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MINING & TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIA 2014 | ISSUE 8 43 WA [Bill Marmion] formed a ministerial advisory panel which is a tripartite body. It's chaired by an independent, has independent members on it and then you've got various peak bodies, the regulator and also three members of Unions WA. There's a good atmosphere of cooperation and working towards a common goal which is modern legislation for the resources sector in WA. Each of those groups is atending those meetings and the subcommitee work with an appropriate atitude, so they're working together. And that's a really good thing. At the end of the day we all want safe workplaces and we all want workers to go to work, earn their pay and go home all in one piece. Also as a regulator, our clients are mine workers and that includes managers and people with spanners in their hands. So it's right across the spectrum. We have a broad church and fortunately we're able to get together having slightly diferent client groups, the regulator has the widest client group but we are at the moment making progress. Could you tell us a bit more about the RADARS [Reform and Development at Resources Safety] strategy that was implemented and how it's con- tributing to safety success in WA's mining sector? We had a very bad run, particularly in the Pilbara and particularly around BHP Billiton. The minister at the time basically said, 'we've got to fx this up, we've got to sort this out'. One of the big issues of course as a regulator is that funding is always an issue, such as being able to ofer atractive jobs with atractive salaries, so the outcome of it essentially was that we needed to modernise the regulator. There were several components to that. You needed to have an appropriate IT base in a modern organisation to manage your work, your data and your targeting of issues. You needed to put your money where you could g get the biggest bang for your buck. To do that you needed to have the data and analyse it properly, so we needed to have a modern IT platform to work on and we needed to fund it. The reality of public money these days is that the big ticket items are education, police and health which is about 80 percent of most budgets, and then everything else argues over the other 20 percent and of course everybody's got needs. It's basically meant that as a regulator it was hard to be funded well enough to actually ofer the packages so that it would atract the beter people. So we went to a levy basis and now we have what we call performance contracts for technical staf. As regulators and we've been able to ofer beter packages than the ordinary public sector salaries and we've built up a skill base and people that are more appropriate to the work that we're trying to do and that's now been running for four or fve years and is proving to be quite successful. Then of course you've got to have a good legislative base because at the end of the day what you're doing is puting in place, or enforcing, a set of regulations underneath the statute. The ministerial panel has been formed to look at the way forward for Western Australia for the next 15 to 20 years and that is going to be based on the work that was done at the nation-wide safety framework and the harmonised model legislation that is currently being reviewed by Safe Work Australia, and you also have to have good governance in place and support services etc. So RADARS is just looking essentially at providing a modern regulator that's working towards, for want of a beter word, best practice for a modern regulator working in a modern framework with the tools and approach that's appropriate in the 21st century. Arguably you can have a great system in place, and great laws in place, but how do you think safety culture and behaviour on mining sites could improve? What action, if any, is the Department taking to improve safety culture and behaviour education? We certainly have multiple programs in that area. As a baby boomer there's no doubt in my mind there's generational change happening. I've been in the industry since I left university in 1976. I wouldn't say the atitude to safety was poor then, it was defnitely on the agenda, however it did tend to be sort of a separate issue in some instances from production. What we need is safe production and those two things can't be separated, they've got to be welded together. And the reality is from a societal point of view and a generational point of view, poor performance is not acceptable. The reality is my generation are heading into their retirement and the x and y generations have got a diferent atitude and diferent expectations and certainly society's expectations and atitudes have changed. When there's a bad accident in mining everyone hears about it. Unfortunately the same accident can happen in other industries and not so much happens in the media. I'm not quite sure why that is. Maybe because mining is sexy, but the reality is we do get a lot of atention and our performance is scrutinised and that's absolutely justifable. The other instances in industries where it doesn't get as much atention is a bit sad because maybe they should have as much atention. Any severe injury, let alone a fatality, is something that is a tragedy

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