Principal mining hazards have the potential to cause catastrophic harm to your personnel on a mine site.

Currently in Tasmania and NSW legislation requires the development of a Principal Mining Hazard Management Plan (PMHMP). Western Australia is reportedly set to introduce the concept as part of the new mining legislation likely to be enacted from January 2017.

As a mine operator you need to ensure that all principal mining hazards have been identified and measures are implemented to minimise the risk of these hazards taking effect.

The process should consider the following potential hazards based on existing legislation in the states where PMHMPs are a requirement:

  • Ground or strata failure.
  • Inundation or inrush of any substance.
  • Mine shafts and winding systems.
  • Roads or other vehicle operating areas.
  • Airborne dust and other airborne contaminants.
  • Fire or explosion.
  • Gas outbursts.
  • Spontaneous combustion.
  • Subsidence
  • Hazards identified by the mine operator.

Once you completed the assessment, findings should be documented in a formal report and appropriate actions undertaken in line with the legislative requirements.

An annual hazard identification and risk assessment process should be facilitated in order to review the existing principal mining hazards; this will determine if any new principal mining hazards have arisen from new or changed work practices.

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