AMMA Training offers insight to the risks of project transition and how Western Australia and AMMA’s training and development team are helping the resource sector overcome the obstacles.

CURRENTLY, the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has expressed a concern about high records of injury in mid-west mines following two serious incidents at the Karara mine site. As growth and introduction of new sites across the mid-west increases, so too does the demand for reform in workplace health and safety.

According to safety executive director Simon Ridge of the Department of Mines and Petroleum, construction is inherently more dangerous than a normal state of production. An influx of new workers to unfamiliar surroundings with a range of equipment in concurrent operation raises the risk of injury significantly, but managing that risk comes down to a better command of communication and planning.

Often, site risk management is lacklustre due to a breakdown in risk recognition and appreciation with focus instead diverted to record-keeping over outcomes. Moreover, five-by-five is often quoted as a benchmark for acceptable risk, rather than a tool for priority-setting, while the effectiveness of risk control measures often goes without monitoring. Finally, a significant cause in weak risk management is a lack of accountability in the safety management process.

To overcome these obstacles and ensure a safe transition from construction to production, safety managers and superintendents need to budget for training in a meaningful way that addresses safety concerns and endeavours to stop unsafe work practices.

To help achieve these outcomes, the Department of Mines and Petroleum in Western Australia launched an initiative in 2010 to implement Reform and Development at Resources Safety, or RADARS. The aim of RADARS is to address key issues of legislation, recruitment and training by offering cost recovery as a move towards funding safety regulations in Western Australia.

When RADARS was initiated, its top line was to oversee the workplace implementation of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. Matters addressed at the time were capacity and competence with the promotion of a risk-based approach to occupational health and safety. What followed was an extensive recruitment of competency-based training and development programs – a role which AMMA Training and Development continues to thrive in, offering nationally recognised qualifications in Work Health and Safety.

Since then, the demand for training and development has not diminished, but rather, grows stronger all the time. As always, resource industry workers continue to operate in high-risk environments, warranting an ongoing focus on recruitment and education. Likewise, seasoned workers must not become complacent, but instead, continue to refine their skills through educational growth.

AMMA’s Training and Development team is delivering OH&S training opportunities throughout July in both Western Australia and Queensland, offering a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety to improve your workforce skills. To learn more about AMMA’s Training and Development options, visit www.amma.org.au/training, call 1800 891 662 or e-mail [email protected].