THE OPERATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
In the 2018/2020 quarterly reported data, in both silica and coal dust, there were common exceedances between 1-3% under the old OELs'. REDUCED OEL'S AS OF 1ST JAN 2021, presents an opportunity for the Mining Industry to build capability to maintain a work environment that is compliant with the revised exposure limits of 1.5mg/m3 for respirable dust & 0.05mg/m3 for respirable crystaline silica.
Since 2015, there have been considerable undertakings to minimise the risks posed by occupational respirable dust, Engineering controls have dominated the arena of dust related risk management, and industry led education on the risks of respirable dust have been implemented fastidiously. With full, remotely operated automation still a few years from actualization, the remaining controls for minimizing individual dust exposure are administrative, and PPE.
Quarterly submissions are due by 1st May 2021 & The Resource Safety & Health Qld, anticipates there is to be an increase in the cases of single reported exceedances until additional control measures are implemented by Mines.
So where to from here..
A NEW APPROACH TO DUST REDUCTION
Ignite Up HQ have collaborated with respected Occupational Hygiene Specialists - GCG Health Safety & Hygiene to bring to the underground Coal Industry, the GRIT UNDERGROUND Mineworker Personal Dust Mitigation initiative.
The program has been developed to inform, equip & empower mineworkers, specifically on the three (3) key opportunities where the coal mine worker has direct influence, in the flow of work, to minimise their personal exposure to harmful dust.
Positioned to align with and complement current dust initiatives and management procedures, this Dust Mitigation Workshop, carried out during normal operations, establishes current benchmark exposure, control effectiveness & opportunities for continual improvement in a live ‘work as done’ environment.
The program, underpinned by a content rich & engaging & interactive online education component, is actioned during normal production – supported by the appointed mentor, on the job.
Instant feedback from the IS Real Time Personal Dust Monitoring Unit is utilised to deliver quantifiable exposure indicators to operators, creating meaning & supporting the coaching moment within workgroups.
Coaching provided on the job by highly experienced independent Ignite Up HQ Dust mentors, optimises existing crew knowledge and awareness of dust risk at the coalface, offering alternate perspectives and equipping mineworkers with practical supportive guidance in optimising mitigation opportunities.
Through strategic positioning of the coal mine worker as the content expert and change-maker throughout, this education & mentoring process builds intrinsic motivation for preferred behavioural and cultural change and reinforces the deliberate commitment of the coal mine operator in reducing dust exposures, building trust, and working together to build world class operations.
Quantifiable, measured personal monitoring improves understanding of accumulative exposure, improves hidden dust risk awareness & heightens intrinsic motivation to modify behaviours to reduce personal exposure.
Coaching improves consistent and correct use of dust controls at the workplace.
Reinforcement of coaching and monitoring improves motivation and compliance.
Demonstrates to stakeholders, a proactive & tangible approach to identifying additional opportunities to mitigate personal exposure to harmful respirable dust & reduce operation impact resultant from exceedance and non-compliance
WHY GRIT UNDERGROUND DIFFERENT
Feedback/ coaching is done live on the job, the monitors provide instant feedback on the effectiveness of the mitigation effort.
On the job training when facilitated by external mentors allows for coaching to be personalised to meet the understanding of the crew, and account for the unique environmental conditions and controls in the workplace.
GCG Health & Hygiene, working collaboratively to support successful outcomes will collate the operational logs with the appropriate personal dust monitoring data externally and liaise with our mentoring team, advising of opportunities to further mitigate exposure.
The data collected is for coaching and improvement purposes – we provide anonymity for both the mine and participant in any external reports of findings.
Upon completion of the GRIT Underground mentoring process & review of demonstrated reduction, nominated nominated site leaders will be taken through our mentor the mentor program for the realised benefit of ongoing internal mentoring efforts
MEASURABLE & DEMONSTRATIVE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Evidenced, data driven reduction in mineworker exposure to harmful dust - "Best practice, requires practice"
Demonstrative to the regulator of proactive mitigating efforts undertaken on behalf of the mine to explore opportunities in reducing dust
Increased capability to operate productively in compliance with the most recent legislated, reduced workplace operational exposure limits (OEL)
Increased employee engagement as a direct consequence of transparency & shared responsibility
FRICTIONLESS ROLL OUT
Aligns with and complement current dust initiatives and management procedures
Consultative in nature, the process leverages through active engagement, the knowledge, understanding & existing perceptions of the mineworker to build intrinsic motivation for sustainable preferred behavioural and cultural change