UNSW Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering is excited to announce the annual Kenneth Finlay Memorial Lecture. This years guest speaker will be Mick Buffier who will be presenting on Safety Improvement in the mining industry over 30 years through the lens of Glencore Coal.
The lecture will be followed by networking drinks and canapes.
5.30pm Registration open
6.00pm Lecture and Q&A
Safety Improvement in the mining industry over 30 years through the lens of Glencore Coal
Over the last 30 years there have been enormous strides made in improving the safety performance of the mining industry, including the coal industry. This has been brought about by committed leadership, the ownership of safety by all at the workplace and improved safety tools.
Up until the 1980’s safety was directed by prescriptive legislation that stipulated what, when and how predetermined controls had to be implemented. In the early 1990’s the introduction of a risk management approach to identify hazards and controls in a dynamic environment fundamentally changed the approach to safety in the mining industry. A hierarchy of controls were established for each hazard, the highest being elimination of the risk, with clear responsibility for management and review. Safety management systems and plans were implemented following ISO guidelines.
In more recent times the focus has moved to catastrophic risk management and critical controls. This is based on the fact that many controls are often identified however the focus has to be on those that are critical to prevent a catastrophic incident occurring. However systems and plans alone are insufficient. It is the delivery on the ground at the coalface so to speak that counts, so management and frontline leadership are crucial along with a competent workforce that is motivated to work safely and to identify and control workplace hazards.
Glencore operates 26 coal mines in 21 mining complexes across Australia, Colombia and South Africa employing 24,000 people including contractors. The company has been on a journey of continuous safety improvement that today sees its operations far more safe than when they began.