In this paper, the authors attempt to bridge the gap that currently exists between the duty-of-care responsibilities of underground mining industry personnel, and the multifaceted health challenges facing mineworkers in Western Australia’s metal mines where diesel-powered mobile equipment predominate. In addressing this issue, the complexities of the nature and extent of the challenges are discussed along with the current inadequacy of existing regulatory metrics. Support is given to the need for well-organised in-mine baseline studies to clearly define the distribution and aging characteristics of the toxic and carcinogenic pollutants within the mine ventilation system, with special emphasis given to exploring the validity of biomonitoring systems. The paper concludes with the proposal that a template risk assessment data sheet be prepared for the industry to provide mining personnel with a sound basic knowledge of the health risks involved and the control measures and precautions available for minimising and/or eliminating the hazard.
Jones, O, Musk, A W, Reid, A and Davis, C, 2017. Risk assessment tool for mines using diesel-powered mobile equipment, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2017, pp 151–154 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).