Authors: Atkins, A; Webster-Smith, T


Cite As:
Atkins, A & Webster-Smith, T 2011, 'OHS management systems for geotechnical risk', in Y Potvin (ed.), Strategic versus Tactical 2011: Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 367-375,

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The shortage of experienced site-based mining professionals, particularly mining engineers and geotechnical engineers, means that safe “life of mine” designs and systems of work must be established with site risk management practices to ensure management can meet its duty of care and other occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations. Merging an OHS Management System (OHSMS) certified under International Standard (OHSAS 18001:2007) or Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4801:2001) with technical compliance audits, such as the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s high impact function (HIF) audits, can ensure that the mine is optimally designed for safe systems of work, with all possible risks identified and control measures put in place. A merged audit of this nature was performed at La Mancha Resources’ Frog’s Leg Mine in Western Australia as a case study. The study showed the HIF audits, when merged with the OHSMS audit, are a powerful systems check on project-specific technical risks. To maximise the benefits, the audits should be performed by a “qualified certification assessor”, a technical content expert and a site staff team representing all levels (i.e. management to the “coal-face”).

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