Health risk guidance for mining sector

December 14, 2016 AMSJ

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has released a new edition of its guidance on occupational health risk assessment (HRA).

The new guidance provides health risk practitioners with the information and tools they need to assess the health and well-being of employees and contractors.

The latest edition brings existing guidance up to date with changes in the field of occupational health risk assessment as well as aligning it with ICMM’s critical control management approach.

Critical control management is an integral part of risk management that focuses on identifying and managing the controls that are critical to preventing catastrophic and fatal events.

The aim of health risk assessment is to systematically and proactively identify health hazards, assess their potential risks to health, prioritise these, and determine appropriate control measures to protect the health and well-being of workers.

The first edition of the guidance, published in 2009, was created to help companies address the occupational health risks in the mining and metals sector.

The guidance provides a 13 step approach to conducting health risk assessments (HRAs), from identifying the hazards and those potentially effect by them, through assessing and prioritising the risks, to implementing controls and acting on any issue, backed with the commitment to continual improvement to health and safety performance. Even though HRA is a technical endeavour, a key component to the success is the commitment and visible leadership from senior and executive management.

ICMM’s CEO Tom Butler said: “Aligning the guidance with ICMM’s emphasis on critical control management will, I hope, help our members achieve our goal of zero harm to workers.

“We believe that any loss of life in the mining industry is unacceptable and we must take all necessary steps to improve our industry’s health and safety performance.

“The first edition of this guidance was one of the most downloaded documents from ICMM’s website. This shows the value that companies see in adopting this approach and I would encourage others to apply it within their organisations.”

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