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Q&A David Cliff - Effective Mine Rescue, Best Practices and Mine Re-entry

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Cliff Stanley will be presenting at the Mine Rescue and Emergency Management 2011. For more information about the event, please visit www.minerescue.com.au or call us on 02 9229 1000. Alternatively, email us on enquire@iqpc.com.au

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Mining IQ for all the latest news, articles and interviews for all things mining.

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Q&A David Cliff - Effective Mine Rescue, Best Practices and Mine Re-entry

  1. 1. Effective Mine Rescue, Best Practices and Mine Re-entry Mining IQ’s Interview with David Cliff, Associate Professor at the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre at The University of Queensland Mine Rescue and Emergency Management 2011 www.MineRescue.com.auMining IQHow do you devise a mine site emergency management plan? Any bestpractices?There are a number of guides that can be accessed to assist in thedevelopment of plans including relevant Mines Rescue Guidelines and MDG1020, 1022 and 1029. The management process promoted by QMRS MEMSis also an excellent starting point. In most states there are also legislativerequirements and AS4804 contains additional information.How do you actually measure the efficiency of your emergencyresponse plan?It is not efficiency but effectiveness that matters. This is best tested by trial ofthe system. Key issues are robustness and timeliness of response. Thesystem must function effectively at all times, thus there must be 24 houraccess to all necessary resources. The chain of command must be clear andalways available. The information required to manage any incident needs tobe available in a form that can be readily used and it must be reliable. Thesystem must be able to cope with any reasonably foreseeable event.In your opinion, what effect will the National OHS Harmonisationprocess affect the way mine sites operate?I do not expect that it will have a major impact. It may make things easier formines to operate as their parent companies often operate across borders.This will allow for transplanting systems and consistency of systems betweenoperations. 1
  2. 2. We know that’s impossible to plan for every contingency and scenario,so how do you decide what to draft detailed plans for?The plan should undertake a risk assessment process accessing informationfrom past events. Due diligence needs to be applied to flesh out potentialscenarios and variations. In particular care needs to be taken to identifypotential bottle necks so that they are removed.Mine re-entry is a contentious issue as it can put more lives at risk, sowhat are the signs that it is worthwhile to re-enter a mine?From a rescue perspective if there is a chance that people may be alive thenre entry is warranted provided it can be undertaken safely. Greateruncertainties will be tolerated where there is clear evidence of life stillexisting. Mines Rescue services are currently reviewing mine re-entryguidelines in an effort to reduce the subjectivity as much as possible and toensure that systems are in place optimise the chance of re-entry.Cliff Stanley will be presenting at the Mine Rescue and EmergencyManagement 2011. For more information about the event, please visitwww.minerescuecom.au or call us on 02 9229 1000. Alternatively, emailus on enquire@iqpc.com.auDon’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Mining IQ for all the latest news,articles and interviews for all things mining. Associate Professor David Cliff is an Associate Professor at the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre at The University of Queensland. His primary role is the undertaking of applied research and consulting in health and safety in the mining industry. Previously Associate Professor David Cliff was the Safety and Health Advisor to the Queensland Mining Council, andprior to that Manager of Mining Research at the Safety in Mines Testing andResearch Station. In these capacities he has provided expert assistance inthe areas of health and safety to the mining industry for over nineteen years.He has particular expertise in emergency preparedness, gas analysis,spontaneous combustion, fires and explosions. In recent times he has alsodevoted a lot of energy to fitness for duty issues particularly fatiguemanagement. He has been a member of the organising committee for thelevel one emergency exercises in Queensland underground coal mines sincetheir inception in 1998. He has also attended or provided assistance in over30 incidents at mines. 2

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