NSW Resources Regulator announces July to December priorities

NSW Resources Regulator has updated its half-yearly compliance priorities for July to December this year to help build safer mines for workers.

They included areas of mine operations that have given rise to a fair number of safety hazards.

The six focus areas are as follows.

Isolation of energy in drill rigs

The Regulator expects equipment designers and mine operators to prepare isolation systems for drilling equipment. The systems need to reduce the risk of harm for drill rig operators and maintainers to as low as possible.

The Regulator advises that hierarchy of controls needs to be appropriately considered and followed.

Roll-overs and falls of articulated trucks from mobile plant

The Regulator will launch a campaign that presents the appropriate, safe systems of work. It will illustrate how manufacturers and suppliers of articulated trucks manage risks of falls from height and truck rollovers.

The Small Mines Team will also roll out an education program on articulated truck safety as part of their safety roadshow.

Ground and strata control

To manage the risks of unplanned ground movement, an inspection campaign will stress on the management of changing geological conditions or areas being mined, as well as the management of work in front of longwall pan line.

Surface coal vehicle interactions

The Regulator highlights the importance of positive communications, road design, surface conditions, exclusion zones and wet road protocols to minimise vehicle interactions.

Construction, operation and decommissioning of tailings dams

To prevent the escape of tailings materials off-site and landforms stability issues, the Regulator will develop an awareness campaign across the coal and metalliferous mining sectors.

The campaign aims to make sure that titleholders and operators are aware of their obligations, and promote best-practice tailings management.

Operational rehabilitation – compliance and reporting

The Regulator will improve the clarity and enforceability of mining lease conditions, and the quality of technical standards and guidance. These improvements apply throughout the mine life, reflecting the importance of rehabilitation from the mine design stage through to closure.

The Regulator will be seeking feedback on the proposed reforms from the industry from early 2019.

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