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RISKGATE and Underground Operations


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Author P A Kirsch, M Shi, J Harris, J Li and D Sprott


Australia has an enviable global reputation as a leader in health and safety outcomes in the hazardous industry of mining, in part due to an increased application of risk management regarding operational planning and mining practice. In 2010, the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) initiated a major project, RISKGATE, to build, capture and deliver a national body of knowledge to assist companies with the management of risk in coal mining. The online system contains information for tyres, collisions, fires, isolation, strata underground, ground control open cut, explosions, explosives underground, explosives open cut, manual tasks, slips/trips/falls, outbursts, coal bumps and bursts, human–machine interface, tailings dams, occupational hygiene and inrush. In 2014, RISKGATE is developing content for fitness for work (fatigue, drugs, alcohol, physical well-being, psychosocial well-being).

paper analyses underground mining fatalities in Australia and the United States
since 2002 and introduces RISKGATE with a focus on the knowledge base for
management of hazards in underground operations. Through capturing coal industry
expert operational knowledge, RISKGATE provides a cumulative corporate memory at
a time of high personnel turnover within the mining industry. This coal-based
body of knowledge is a platform that can be evaluated and implemented for other
mining domains and high-risk industries within the energy supply chain.


Kirsch, P A, Shi, M, Harris, J, Li, J and Sprott, D, 2014.
RISKGATE and underground operations, in Proceedings 12th AusIMM Underground
Operators’ Conference 2014
, pp 11–18 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).