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What is Mining Process Safety?

Process Safety Management is the application of management controls to ensure that process hazards are identified, understood and controlled to prevent process related accidents from occurring.

Process Safety, in the context of mining, is the application of the same operational discipline seen in the process industries to high consequence and low frequency mining risks to ensure that these hazards are identified, understood and controlled to prevent process related accidents from occurring. In Mining Process Safety Management (MPSM) we apply tools and approaches typically applied in the process industries to improve the management of these potentially catastrophic risks.

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What is Mining Process Safety?
The Challenge
The Benefits
Our Approach
Our Solutions
Our Experience
The Challenge
Major mining incidents happen infrequently and the passing of time without incidents is not necessarily an indication that all is well and may contribute to a dangerous and growing sense of complacency. When people lose an appreciation of how their safety systems were intended to work, safety systems and controls can deteriorate, lessons can be forgotten, and hazards and deviations from safe operating procedures can be accepted.
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The Benefits

Whilst originally developed for the chemical industry, MPSM is equally relevant to mining operations. It provides the ability to achieve a step change improvement in risk control for these catastrophic risks reducing the risk of major incidents that may cause loss of life, environmental damage or significant asset loss. It helps to ensure the long term viability of mining operations.

MPSM may also provide benefits in the area of operability, productivity and stability and quality of process.

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Our Approach

Ibis helps clients develop and deliver focused and cost-effective approaches to organisations wishing to assess and assure the safety of their complex system, processes or operation.

We seek to assist clients develop a robust and resilient MPSM system that is integrated into their current operation. Our approach is complementary and is designed to mesh with your current safety mangement systems.

One approach to MPSM is the following:
  • Process Safety Risk Identification, Evaluation and Assessment - We help you to identify those risks which are suitable for the application of MPSM and then to conduct in-depth risk analysis using suitable tools including Layer of Protection Analysis.

  • Controls evaluation - We identify the critical controls and then review the adequacy of the documentation of each. In addition, we review the adequacy of the verifications for each critical control to ensure that these controls are being routinely checked and maintained at a high level of reliability.

  • Prepare "Risk Owner's Manual" - We prepare a road map document which helps ensure that the understanding of the risks, the controls and the verifications is consolidated to aid consistent communication and sustain effective risk management. This is often used to ensure that a new person to the organisation can quickly climb the learning curve and understand their role in managing the risk.

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Our Solutions
A range of MPSM services may be provided including:
  • Risk assessment and hazard analysis,
  • Layer of Protection Analysis,
  • Human factors assessments,
  • Safety in design,
  • Performance monitoring,
  • Safety systems,
  • Procedure development,
  • Training and
  • Auditing.
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Our Experience
  • Ibis has worked with BHP Billiton Nickel West to develop and implement a tailored process safety approach to catastrophic mining risks. The approach has helped focus management attention on the low frequency and high consequence risks and to ensure that the critical controls are maintained and sustainable.

    Ibis has worked with Nickel West to apply this method to surface and underground mines. It has been successfully applied to the risks of underground fire, surface slope stability, underground fall of ground, explosives handling, surface mine vehicles interactions and mine winder operations.

  • Ibis assisted Penrice Soda Products to conduct a whole of mine risk assessment for the limestone mine. This helped to identify safety risks for the operation and provided a sound basis for monitoring of the critical controls as well as management and Board reporting.

  • Ibis worked with BHP Billiton to conduct Layer of Protection Analysis on potentially catastrophic risks associated with the Perseverance Deeps Project. These risk assessments supported the design process to enable selection of more robust controls which will help increase the reliability of risk management during the operational phase of the project.

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For more information call us on: 03 9005 4615  |  To download a PDF version of this page, please CLICK HERE
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