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Fatal accidents in the Western Australian mining industry 2000-2012 [online] : what lessons can we learn? : report

Call no.:
Internet only - free access
18 p.
Perth, W.A.: Dept. of Mines and Petroleum
Electronic resource
This report examines the 52 fatal mining accidents that occurred in Western Australia over the 13 year period from 2000 to 2012, inclusive.

Most of the information came from completed investigation reports in the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s archives. However, a number of investigations, some dating back to 2008, were continuing through legal proceedings when the information was compiled. If the findings of a magistrate or coroner during any future prosecution or inquest differ from the investigation findings, the results reported here may require minor amendment, but such a scenario is considered unlikely.

The information was analysed to identify common hazards, causation factors and critical activities. Twenty-four causation factors were identified and used to provide a framework for analysis. A person might conduct 50 to 100 tasks during a shift, of which just one or two could lead to a situation with the potential for serious injury or death. So knowledge of the critical tasks is important when addressing risks.

The sample size is too small (fortunately) for statistical comparison and therefore the reviewers looked for trends and clusters to determine what might have contributed to the fatalities. The reviewers also sought to recommend areas for industry to address that may result in improved safety performance by raising awareness and reducing the exposure of workers to the hazards implicated in the fatalities. This improvement should be achieved through a more rigorous application of the hierarchy of control, and better targeting of preventative action programs and activities. 
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