Safety is a key value in most leading mining companies. Despite years of effort, and significant expense in ‘programs’, operating sites seem to have been left with no real improvement in either the elimination of fatalities or sustained reduction in injuries.
Safety systems and processes have grown and evolved, often to the point where they have become overly complicated and marginally useful.
MMG Limited, following the consolidation of its Australian operations under a single management structure, undertook a program to effect real and sustained change in its approach to managing safety. The program aimed at improving safety by better engaging its workforce and by making safety processes simple, useful and effective. It defined the role of the supervisor in creating safe work, the role of the people doing work and the role of safe work methods.
A safety diagnostic tool was developed to assess site against safety-critical mindsets, behaviours, cultures and systems. The outcome of the diagnostic is considered by the organisation to be the true lead indicator of safety performance.
While still a work-in-progress, the program at the Australian Operations of MMG Limited shows that challenging common paradigms in safety management can create real change in safety performance.
Webb, M E, 2016. Making safety simple, useful and effective, in Proceedings International Mine Management Conference, pp 217-223 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).