Increased Risk

Safety in the mining sector needs to be top-of-mind for every employee, every single day.  It needs to be woven into the fabric of the day-to-day culture. We want all mine workers to be safe.

It only takes a moment, a momentary loss of control for something to go horribly wrong. People do have the ability to stop if they're unsure. There is no job that's worth taking a risk.

Additional guidance material:

Drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol not only affect a worker’s productivity, but also their attentiveness and ability to react and take action during an emergency. Operating heavy machinery and working with toxic or explosive substances while under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose a high risk.

A worker’s use of drugs or alcohol, whether casual, recreational or arising from a dependency, has the potential to create unacceptable safety risks for anyone working at a mining site.

Mine operators and PCBUs have a responsibility to prevent workers, who may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, from engaging in activities that could have lethal consequences for themselves, their co-workers, and the public.

For additional information and guidance material, visit these helpful links:

Fatigue

Fatigue is more than feeling tired and drowsy. In a work context, fatigue is mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces your ability to perform your work safely and effectively.

Workers impaired by fatigue are less responsive to changing circumstances, leading to an increased likelihood of incidents. Everyone in the workplace has a duty to make sure fatigue does not create a risk to anyone’s health and safety.

Read more on fatigue management.

For additional information and guidance material, visit these helpful links:

Severe weather

There is a need to plan for severe weather events specifically fires, floods and heatwaves. Some of these events directly and indirectly impacted mining operations, demonstrating the need for mine operators to plan for, and where necessary, conduct seasonal risk assessments to consider the type and likelihood of events that may affect their operation. The wide-ranging impacts of severe weather events should be considered in providing a safe workplace.

Additional information and guidance material:

Mental Health

Mental health, just like physical health, is an important part of work health and safety. While there are many aspects in life that can lead to poor mental health, mine operators and PCBUs have a responsibility to take a ‘reasonably practicable’ approach to create a safe, healthy and productive workplace.

Factors impacting workers’ mental health include anxiety, which can be intensified by chronic pain, physical illness, depression, stress, a previous mental health diagnosis, drug use and workload.

Mines and quarries which adopt mental health programs achieve better outcomes with improvements in engagement, morale, productivity and employee satisfaction, while minimising the impact on absenteeism, presenteeism, long-term leaves of absence and workplace injuries.

Read our document on mental health – NSW mining and extractives industry

For additional information and guidance material, visit these helpful links:

Heat stress

Heat stress is a very real threat to workers in the mining industry and mine operators and PCBUs must take reasonable steps to manage the risk.

Read more about heat stress.