Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Safety Alert 63

Date: 16 August 2016

On 19 June 2016, a mine worker in his thirties was killed after he was crushed while working on a drilling machine. The incident occurred at a Rio Tinto iron ore mine in the Pilbara. The investigation by the Department of Mines and Petroleum found that no task based risk assessment had been performed by the deceased worker, therefore, sources of harm such as stored electrical or mechanical energy were not identified. This means that risks associated with the work were not identified and measures taken to reduce the risks were not implemented, for example, isolation of the energy sources. Consequently, the worker was killed when mechanical energy (which had not been isolated) caused the drill rod to move, crushing him between the drill rod arm and the drill head.

Recommendations

Plan the Work – Work the Plan. Safe working requires planning to ensure that hazards with the potential to injure persons,- and/or damage property, and/or the environment, must be identified and eliminated in the first instance. Where the hazard cannot be eliminated, risks associated with exposure to the hazard (the source of harm) must be identified. Furthermore, risk control measures must be determined and put into practice to reduce the risks to AS LOW AS REASONABLY PRACTICABLE – the ALARP principle.

All apprentices MUST undertake hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control (the “HIRAC” process) using their RAC book or the EGT App prior to undertaking any task. This task based risk assessment helps with sound planning for safe work practices and develops awareness and understanding of the hazards and risks associated with the works to be undertaken. If the associated hazards and risks are not known, they can’t be managed through elimination or risk reduction measures.

In the case of the mine worker, in the absence of not having completed a risk assessment, stored energy was not controlled, which resulted in his death.


Feedback

For feedback or queries regarding this Safety Alert, contact NECA OSH on (08) 6241 6100.