The Tritton Copper Operations had a challenging year in the management of safety. There were five lost time injuries during the year, each one of low or moderate severity. They contributed to a modest increase in the Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) to 34 for FY2020. This reverses the trend of gradual decline in TRIFR over prior years.
The safety management system used is a modern resources industry framework which focuses on the control of Catastrophic Potential Events (CPEs) – those events that have the potential to cause life changing injuries. Experience shows that most serious events are associated with failure to effectively implement known controls, rather than not knowing what the risks and controls should be. The safety system contains management control plans for all the principal hazards. These plans describe the critical controls required for each of the principal hazards and how they can be applied. The management plans are the body of knowledge used to control the CPEs.
The Company’s Safety Management System uses the modern mining industry framework which focuses on the control of Catastrophic Potential Events (CPEs) – that is those events that have the potential to cause life changing injuries. Experience shows that most serious events are associated with failure to effectively implement known controls, rather than not knowing what the risks and controls should be. Building on last year’s completion of the control plans we will consolidate, clarify and coordinate the critical controls in FY2020. This will make the system easier to understand and execute for the workforce, hence more effective in preventing CPEs.
The Safety Management System includes a continuous improvement framework. In FY2020 the process of new risk assessment for individual CPEs and then a review of the relevant management plan and its critical controls was commenced as the first round of improvement to the system. The complete cycle to review and improve the management control plans is expected to be completed over a two-year cycle. As each review is completed the site risk assessment and register is updated and checked for inconsistencies.
Involvement of operations team members in the review of the risk assessment and the management control plans is an important part of the training and learning required to embed the safety system as a behavior.
The principals applied when reviewing the management plans are to:
The CCM approach supports the development of an effective safety culture. CCM emphasises the importance of effective implementation of critical controls. In other words, it focuses on important practices that prevent or minimise CPEs. A focus on practices or “how we do things around here” is an accepted way of developing and sustaining an effective safety culture. An effective safety culture is necessary to make safety systems work.
Operational training systems are to be refreshed with new technology solutions that allow for improved student experiences and low-cost management of training records. The operations training documents are reviewed in combination with the critical control verification. Improving the training material quality and reducing the overhead burden of record keeping can be achieved simultaneously with new technology.
Tritton was audited on a regular basis during the year by the State Regulator, as part of the State strategy for targeted risk-based assessment programs. Each audit focusses on a single critical hazard and the effectiveness of the control plans at the operation. Pleasingly, the audits showed a high level of compliance, reaffirming the effectiveness of the critical controls in our safety management system.
A hazardous manual task education program that commenced in 2018 is to continue. Training the teams in manual handling to avoid sprains and strains has made a difference and we need to continue this intervention as new employees enter the workforce. The program has involved training in manual handling and regular on-site support from a physiotherapist.
Both Tritton’s and Cracow’s Emergency Response Teams (ERT) use highly specialised training to assist in the event of emergencies. The teams regularly train for competitions at the regional and national levels. These competitions simulate critical rescue missions that test and hone skills in first aid, search and rescue, firefighting, road accident rescue, ventilation and breathing apparatus.
Committing to mine rescue competitions requires hours of personal training time on behalf of participants, including strenuous physical and mental exercise. A strong commitment from the workforce to get involved is supported by an investment in training and leadership by the Company. When required, the emergency response team of volunteer employees have provided excellent service.